Gyedu-Blay Ambolley and Hi-Life Jazz is the new album from revered Ghanaian highlife and Simigwa Do exponent Gyedu-Blay Ambolley, known for his deep, soulful, and funky highlife sound and sometimes referred to as the “James Brown of Ghana.” Gyedu-Blay Ambolley and Hi-Life Jazz jumps right out of the blocks with 3 straight-up, groove-laden highlife numbers in Sankumagye, Yekor Ye A Yea and Enyidado, a spontaneous mix of Afro-soul and groove with Ambolley's deep tonal and vocal interventions giving a sense that the influence of Afro-American soul music is never far away. Things continue to heat up as the maestro and bandleader approaches various songs from the songbook of classic modern jazz. The rhythmic pulse within each standard is pushed and pulled, ensuring the original is recognisable yet rooted in Ambolley's ancestral home. In John Coltrane’s Love Supreme he proclaims “John Coltrane said love is supreme & we heard him in Africa very loud and clear.” Taking a very different but direct approach filled with Ghanaian swing Ambolley matches the colours and energy with a rhythmic dexterity and an African spiritual sensitivity that immediately draws you in, allowing a space for the spiritual to rise. The Wayne Shorter classic Footprints receives a similar treatment - it's a toe-tapping workout that leaves you wanting more. Round Midnite, a Thelonious Monk staple, has been covered so many times as a ballad yet here Ambolley gives things an uptempo re-work, a wholly unique inception that makes total sense when you hear it. All Blues by Miles Davis is a well-loved staple of jazz players the world over and is known as a vehicle for endless improvisations and here, in the hands of this master craftsman, is a mesmerising and unapologetic dance floor journey.