Similar artists

Albums

$7.99
$5.99

Jazz - Released August 27, 2013 | Jazz Village

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Sélection FIP - Hi-Res Audio
4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] thrilling cross-cultural collision of jazz, percussion-oriented African music and edgy, fusionesque, funk."
$8.99

Africa - Released May 19, 2017 | Strut

Distinctions Best New Reissue
$8.99

Africa - Released November 15, 2004 | Buda musique

To some, the term "Ethiopian jazz" might seem impossible; after all, it's a very American form. But what's truly surprising isn't the fact that these musicians play jazz so well, but the range of jazz they manage, from the George Benson-ish guitar workout of "Munaye" to the twisting sax of "Tezeta." Really, though, it's more Jimmy Smith than Duke Ellington in its aim (although Ellington is on the cover, on stage with Mulatu Astatke, the bandleader behind all these selections). The grooves often smoke rather than swing, with some fiery drumming, most notably on "Yekermo Sew," and throughout the guitar is very much to the fore as a rhythm instrument. Perhaps the most interesting cut, however, is "Yekatit," from 1974, which is Astatke's tribute to the burgeoning revolution which would oust Emperor Haile Sellassie. Some of these pieces, certainly "Dewel," has seen U.S. release before; the track appeared in 1972 on Mulatu of Ethiopia, which was Astatke's third American LP, showing that jazz aficionados, at least, had an appreciation for what he was achieving in the horn of Africa. Given that many of his musicians had graduated from police and military bands, they knew their instruments well, and had plenty of practice time, which shows in the often inventive solos that dot the tracks. Varied, occasionally lyrical, but interesting throughout, this shines a fabulous spotlight on a hidden corner of jazz. ~ Chris Nickson
$8.99

World - Released October 19, 2009 | Strut

"A handful of vocal tracks dot the compilation, and they're all outstanding....'Ebo Lala' features Seifu Yohannes putting on his best Bollywood-inspired show, huffing and puffing over a heavy Latin beat and blasting horn section."
$8.99

Jazz - Released March 29, 2010 | Strut

Mulatu Astatke already has a legendary status as the father of Ethio Jazz. But he hasn't been content to rest on his laurels. Instead he's forged ahead. This album proves very different from his work with the Heliocentrics (some of whom do feature here), or with the Either/Orchestra -- it's an album of what is essentially a meandering, laid-back groove that looks at music from two angles -- the Western and the Ethiopian. The former gets to stretch out on cuts like the opener, the reflective "Radcliffe," and "The Way to Nice." Ethiopia raises its head on "I Faram Gami I Faram," which some luscious Addis Ababa singing, a reworking of the style that made Astatke's name, and actually of one of his old compositions. But it can also be heard in the flute on "Ethio Blues," or the ways Astatke's vibraphone resembles a balafon in "Green Africa." "Assosa" is a true trip into rural Ethiopia, based on traditional music, while "Mulatu's Mood" crosses the continent to put another of the man's older pieces in a highlife framework and highlight the connections between styles. What's interesting is how much of a backseat Astatke is happy to take, rarely venturing out front for a solo (and even then they're brief, more like punctuations), but always powering things along as part of the rhythm section. The exception is on "Boogaloo," at heart Western enough until Astatke takes it to Ethiopia over the groove, and then an Ethiopian fiddle holds it in strange, beautiful territory. A beautiful album that adds to Astatke's stature. ~ Chris Nickson
$0.99

Jazz - Released July 8, 2013 | Jazz Village