Thursday, March 2

Mulatu Astatke - Ethiopiques, Vol. 4: Ethio Jazz & Musique Instrumentale, 1969-1974

"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). ... 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."
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YouTube: Ethiopiques Volume 4 23 videos

2016 January: New York–Addis–London: The Story of Ethio Jazz 1965–1975