Alhaji K. Frimpong


Hot Casa • 1984

Highlife made in Germany. Which may appear strange but is literally true in the case of Alhaji Kwabena Frimpong’s 1984 album »Abrabo«. The Ghanaian guitarist and singer recorded the album in Hamburg with his regular band Cubanos Fiesta, and it was distributed by Teldec. A label doesn’t seem to have been found at the time, which is perhaps one of the reasons why it is now being reissued for the first time in 38 years. It can’t have been because of the music. Alhaji K. Frimpong, as he also called himself, cultivates a filigree highlife sound in the four extended numbers on »Abrabo«, casually supplemented with elements of soul. On the title track, for example, a discreet funk bass rolls under Frimpong’s vocals, smoothly interlocking with the gyrating guitar. The record also features vocals that like to form long polyphonic arcs, like on the piece »Abusuafo«, for example. Brass instruments are added very purposefully, with an extended trumpet solo on »Enna«, but even that is rather unobtrusive. The whole record cultivates its own understatement in such an elegant way that afterwards you might not really know why you liked it. A compliment that cannot be paid to every album.