Though he hailed from Ghana, E.T. Mensah was a musical ambassador for the world. During the '40s, swing had made its way across the Atlantic and planted itself in the popular dance culture of West Africa. For musicians trained in the European (imperial) tradition of marching bands, early jazz bore obvious appeal--and big bands rose to bear its standard. E.T. Mensah, trained on saxophone and trumpet, joined a group called the Tempos in the late '40s. By doing so, he committed himself to a new kind of musical integration which would be termed Highlife.
Rather than adopting only the styles ...read more