Ethiopiques S/D

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So I just heard a couple of tracks from these collections on the internet and want/need to get my hands on them. Alas, there are, what, 11 of these and my wallet can't handle the strain. Anyone have suggestions on which are the best? I'm mainly interested in the vocal tracks, so the all-instrumental ones are DQ'ed.

dave k, Friday, 11 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

exotically soulful new answers, pleeease.

dave k, Friday, 11 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

Start with the extremely rocking Vol. 3, featuring Alemayehu Eshete and Hirut Beqele's kick-ass "Temeles" and Beqele's funk bomb "Yeqondjowotch mender." If you can't find that, Vol. 1 will do.

Douglas, Friday, 11 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

definitely 3, or 1 as per the above. next, go for mahmoud ahmed's "ere mela mela" (and not the other one he did, which wasn't as good), volume 10 (blues and ballads) is a fantastic next step and after you've got 3 or 4 you'll want them all. the ones that are really different are 2 (i'm told - it's from the 90s and i haven't bought it yet) and 11, alemu aga playing the 'harp of king david,' which is basically very low, low string rumbling, the buzzing of the instrument's bridge and quiet, subtle singing. it's REALLY nice, sort of kind of like an ethiopian nick drake or someting.

your null fame, Friday, 11 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

Sign up with and you can download all 11 of them. Plus about a half million other CDs, too. And the artists get paid!! To date, I've only heard #8 of the Ethiopiques, "Swinging Addis", and I'd say it lives up to its name.

Curt, Friday, 11 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

I actually prefer vol. 8 to vol. 3, though both are terrific. and vol. 1 is fine also.

after four or five listens, vols. 6 and 7 (single-artist both) really started to grate, though it's been a couple years since I played either; maybe I'd change my mind now. kinda doubt it, though.

M. Matos, Saturday, 12 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

one month passes...
for the sake of closure, i should add that i now have a handful of these. Volume 3 is tremendous and volume 10 - tezeta - is also fantastic. A beautiful Seyfou Yohannes track as well as more amazing Alemayehu Eshete stuff. Overlap with earlier stuff but such a nice grab-bag of stuff. so nice.

dave k, Saturday, 9 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

one year passes...
My favourite's long been number 4, which has heartbreakingly started to skip on me. I just picked up number 13, which I thought was the new one, though I learn there's also a 14 out (or soon to be out, someone lemme know). Anyway, I've just put it on and it is sounding very fine.

slutsky (slutsky), Friday, 9 May 2003 00:42 (sixteen years ago) link

14 is out, and it's excellent. All recordings of Getatchew Mekurya, free-wailing yet non-Ayler/Coltrane influenced sax (often backed up by great, rhythmic organ). Mekurya's style developed out of a kind of tribal vocal warsong exercise, very strange, even Klezmer-y, but totally flying. This volume is definitely a favorite.

Brian Turner (btwfmu), Friday, 9 May 2003 02:48 (sixteen years ago) link

I gotta hear this. I don't think it's out in Canada yet, though (13's considered a new release).

slutsky (slutsky), Friday, 9 May 2003 02:58 (sixteen years ago) link

This volume is probably my single favorite from the whole series. Though there is a bias as I grew up with his music and may be the biggest fan of Getachew on the planet. After hearing his stuff about 10 years ago (after a 15 year interval) I was blown away by this weird proto free-jazz style he’d developed on his own in the 50s and 60s.

At the time, his classic album (the one this this volume is based on tho it adds a few ultra-rare tracks) was out of print, (I was lucky enuf to have the vinyl) and very few ppl in Addis were still familiar with him. Though wenever I played him while DJing everyone loved it, he was still mostly forgotten. In the last few years though there has been a huge revival in his career, he’s playing weekly now, the rights to the album were acquired after years of trying (making this available) and this past January we were able to hold the album release party in Addis in the context of a festival dedicated to him as a tribute. The man has been playing for over 50 years and is a consummate performer and musician.

I’ve been raving abt the album on other threads and keep having to retrain myself so I don’t go overboard but to anyone who is interested in this series you have to but this disc.

I’ll dig up pictures from the festival and post ‘em later.

H (Heruy), Saturday, 10 May 2003 03:18 (sixteen years ago) link

Please do post pictures from the festival. I'd love to see them.

Jeff Sumner (Jeff Sumner), Saturday, 10 May 2003 04:33 (sixteen years ago) link

H., after reading your post, I want to hear this bad.

slutsky (slutsky), Saturday, 10 May 2003 06:02 (sixteen years ago) link

thank you slutsky, actually realized aferwards that my post was typo-ridden and felt that I didn't express how much I love and respect Getachew. If my post made you wanna listen to him then I'm happy.

Jeff - and anyone else- I realised when i pulled up disc that I have approx. 1000 pics from the festival (different sources) so it'll take me a day or so to pick some out. I also remembered I have a couple of video clips (i think recorded on Quicktime) but have no idea how to make 'em available if anyone is interested. If so, pls. let me know how post 'em. thx.

H (Heruy), Saturday, 10 May 2003 21:39 (sixteen years ago) link

Yes, now I need to hear it too.

amateurist (amateurist), Sunday, 11 May 2003 00:42 (sixteen years ago) link

H, your post was great, and I can't wait to see some of this stuff. Also, I managed to hear a very quick snippet on Buda Music's site, and now I want to hear it even more.

I shouldn't buy any more CDs in the next couple of months, the way I've been going*, but I'm going to have to get this anyway.

* it'd be a lot more efficient if I just deposited my paycheque, withdrew it all in cash and threw it out the window

slutsky (slutsky), Tuesday, 13 May 2003 21:20 (sixteen years ago) link

it'd be a lot more efficient if I just deposited my paycheque, withdrew it all in cash and threw it out the window

What is your address? And is there a web site that tracks wind patterns in Quebec?

amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 13 May 2003 21:22 (sixteen years ago) link

Uhh, I can't decide whether to make a bad joke about the worthlessness of Canadian currency or not. What do you think?

slutsky (slutsky), Tuesday, 13 May 2003 21:25 (sixteen years ago) link

ok, if anyone's interested here a few pics from the festival.

H (Heruy), Friday, 16 May 2003 15:33 (sixteen years ago) link

Great photos, H. I especially like the shots of Sosina GYesus and Fanaye Tesfay.

slutsky (slutsky), Friday, 16 May 2003 23:02 (sixteen years ago) link

Vol. 14 is absolutely killer. It's got an unmistakable Sun Ra vibe, maybe it's the lower-fi vampy organ. But it's also rhythmically very repetitive like Fela or dub, all the while that bluesy soulful sax overtop, like Coleman Hawkins. One track actually reminds me of Oneida's last record, with the long repetitive passages. One of the coolest things I've heard in awhile!

scott m (mcd), Thursday, 22 May 2003 17:59 (sixteen years ago) link

DAMN they better release it here soon.

slutsky (slutsky), Thursday, 22 May 2003 18:39 (sixteen years ago) link

Yay!! Getachew madness!

Actually, I'm working on putting a Europe & US tour for him as I belive so much in him and hearing positive stuff like this is essential in keeping me going against all the obstacles.

Funny seeing above post 'coz yesterday I actualy googled Sun Ra and Ethiopiques to see if anyone had seen any similarities with any of the stuff.

H (Heruy), Thursday, 22 May 2003 19:38 (sixteen years ago) link

seven months pass...
Ah, here's that Ethiopiques thread.

I found Mahmoud Ahmed's Ere Mela Mela a while ago and it's great.

I am interested in reading more about the history of Ethiopian music, specifically the relationship between the music and Ethiopian culture/politics/geography. Has anyone found any web resources, books, or articles that are insightful?

fields of salmon (fieldsofsalmon), Tuesday, 20 January 2004 06:53 (fifteen years ago) link


More sounds ...

Dock Miles (Dock Miles), Tuesday, 20 January 2004 08:31 (fifteen years ago) link

three months pass...
Has anyone heard 18?

mcd (mcd), Friday, 30 April 2004 01:52 (fifteen years ago) link

three months pass...

I am looking for information on Hirut Beqele, but have found only mentions of her participation in Ethiopiques.

Anybody have links?

(hi Mark)

thanks, sydney

sydney, Monday, 23 August 2004 23:24 (fifteen years ago) link

i never picked up the getachew cd :(

s1ocki (slutsky), Monday, 23 August 2004 23:35 (fifteen years ago) link

Don't let it get atcha.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Monday, 23 August 2004 23:47 (fifteen years ago) link

two months pass...
Just picked up vol. 13 and it's the best thing I've thing I've heard all year (although I know I'm kinda late to the party....).
So from this thread I gather that vol. 1 and 3 should be next on my list.

Baaderonixxx le Jeune (Fabfunk), Saturday, 20 November 2004 17:07 (fourteen years ago) link

two months pass...
As a result of this thread I bought volume 14 "Getatchew Mekurya : Negus of Ethiopian Sax" - stunning!

paul c (paul c), Saturday, 29 January 2005 21:43 (fourteen years ago) link

Isn't it though? What an amazing disc.

Stormy Davis (diamond), Saturday, 29 January 2005 21:49 (fourteen years ago) link

I can't get that tenor sound out of my head! Sometimes harsh, other times tender. The icing on the cake is the Ray Manzarek-y organ sound!

paul c (paul c), Saturday, 29 January 2005 21:51 (fourteen years ago) link

i gotta get that one

s1ocki (slutsky), Saturday, 29 January 2005 22:33 (fourteen years ago) link

love this series SO MUCH

owen reading, Saturday, 29 January 2005 22:34 (fourteen years ago) link

well, just finished this round of the ethiopian music festival just over a week ago, will post pics from that when i get a chance.

Getachew spent part of last fall touring with The Ex and the ICP Orchestra for the 25th anniversary of The Ex. went great from all reports and they want to keep up the collaborations.

for those who are interested, for last year's festival i had invited Boston based big band Either/Orchestra and they'll be playing with Mulatu Astatqe (featured on Vol. 4) at Joe's Pub in NYC on March 15, def. well worth going to.

H (Heruy), Monday, 31 January 2005 06:09 (fourteen years ago) link

Will anyone be coming down to D.C. in March as well? There's a large Ethiopian population here, but I sometime miss out on getting the postcards left at certain Ethipian shops and restaurants advertising upcoming gigs.

steve-k, Monday, 31 January 2005 14:03 (fourteen years ago) link

the Either/Orchestra Mulatu show should be hitting DC as well, tho no date has been set yet. also i made a mistake above, the date for NYC was actually Mon. March 14

H (Heruy), Monday, 31 January 2005 14:18 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...
to remind any in the NYC area who might be interested abt the Mulatu Astatqe & Either/Orchestra show. since they met at the festival for which I brought Either/Orchestra over to Addis, having this ongoing collab makes me happy. plus the DJ spinning is an old childhood friend.

posting the press release below and for anyone who can't make but is interested there is a full concert they did together in the WNYC online archives. think the date was Nov. 12 2004.

Steve, there is supposed to be a March 18,19 show but venue is not set yet afaik


Monday March 14
9:30 PM & 11:30 PM

Featured artists include:
Mulatu Astatke

One of Ethiopia's major musicians, Mulatu Astatke studied in London, Boston and New York, in the late 1950s and returned home to invent Ethio-jazz, which stands with various South African and Nigerian styles as the most successful fusion of jazz and African music. Astatke is most notably featured in the acclaimed Ethiopiques series Vol. 4. The Grammy- Nominated Either/Orchestra is among the longest running and highly respected large ensembles in jazz. Since 1985, under the direction of saxophonist/composer Russ Gershon, the ten-piece has traversed the length and breadth of jazz to make unexpected connections between styles and approaches to music, including Ethiopian music and jazz.

In early 2004, as the first US big band to play in Ethiopia since Duke Ellington in 1973, the E/O met and collaborated with Mulatu. It was a match made in heaven, or at least in Addis Ababa! Since this meeting the two have performed together several times in the US building upon recorded Ethiopian explorations in E/O’s hit albums, afro-cubism and More Beautiful Than Death, “an album so jaw-droppin', eyes buggin' and head-shakingly good that it takes your breath away...” Snap Pop.

Don’t miss your chance to see this beautiful collaboration. "Mulatu Astatke's distinct brand of Ethiopian music features some of the most soulful hip-grinding instrumentals ever recorded in Mother Africa."-John Ballon, Musthear Reviews "One of the most innovative large ensembles in jazz for almost 20 years...[the Either/Orchestra] is still pushing the envelope." New York Newsday

Before and after sets, Downtown Manhattan's Ethiopian-born, female DJ/Producer Timaj Sukker, spins Nomadic beats, in which eclectic global rhythms are interwoven into a singular holistic adventure.

H (Heruy), Thursday, 3 March 2005 16:01 (fourteen years ago) link

mahmoud ahmed's "ere mela mela" is in my amazon saved items right now.

Don't Ever Antagonize The Horny (AaronHz), Thursday, 3 March 2005 16:35 (fourteen years ago) link

where's the show, h?

Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Thursday, 3 March 2005 16:51 (fourteen years ago) link

March 14, 9:30 pm
Joe's Pub, New York City, with special guest Mulatu Astatke

March 18, 19
Washington DC, with Mulatu Astatke, venue TBA

steve-k, Thursday, 3 March 2005 20:39 (fourteen years ago) link

six months pass...
Very high thanks to JJarmusch for putting this stuff in Broken Flowers. I'm searching now!

peepee (peepee), Friday, 16 September 2005 01:54 (fourteen years ago) link

Either/Orchestra & Mulatu Astatke will be playing the record release party for Ethiopiques Vol. 20
Oct. 13 @ Joe's Pub, NYC and
@ The Lizard Lounge, Cambridge MA, on Friday October 21

more info here

H (Heruy), Friday, 16 September 2005 14:42 (fourteen years ago) link

I only have #13, but it kicks ass. I need more of these.

n/a (Nick A.), Friday, 16 September 2005 14:55 (fourteen years ago) link

13 is still my fave, so so good. extremely strange when stoned too

Baaderonixx and the hedonistic gluttons (baaderonixx), Friday, 16 September 2005 14:57 (fourteen years ago) link

I put it on when a bunch of Chicago ILXors were at my apartment, thinking it was awesome party music, and a couple of them complained and made me change it. They didn't like Gang Gang Dance either. You just can't please some people.

n/a (Nick A.), Friday, 16 September 2005 15:07 (fourteen years ago) link


Those people only like what they hear on Top 40 radio.

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Friday, 16 September 2005 15:08 (fourteen years ago) link

the lack of specific praise on this thread for alemayehu eshete is astounding - number 9, folks, number 9! "telantena zare" completely, utterly slays.

Zack Richardson (teenagequiet), Friday, 16 September 2005 15:35 (fourteen years ago) link

So, #13 is good, I have #1 and parts of others. They're all on emusic, aren't they?

simian (dymaxia), Friday, 16 September 2005 15:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Not on Ethiopiques I don't think, but this guy Hailu Mergia just had a tape reissued by Awesome tapes from Africa. He's a cabdriver now at Dulles airport in the W. D.C. area

curmudgeon, Friday, 21 June 2013 16:44 (six years ago) link

man, give the guy a gig! that youtube clip is awesome.

tylerw, Saturday, 22 June 2013 01:45 (six years ago) link

I'm just listening to #14 which I hadn't heard before. Very good record. Still wishing I knew exactly which #s were essential. Think this was anyway, so might need to get a physical copy.

Had a chance to buy a number of them cheaply a few years back. Possibly around the time Zavvi was a physical shop in London. Not sure which I already have. Think it's 3, 8, 9, 13, whichever harp of King David is, the one that was recorded specially for the series which i think is either a teen or an early 20s.

Think I inevitably need more and also need to pick up the Kenya Special set which came out a couple of months back.

Stevolende, Saturday, 22 June 2013 19:10 (six years ago) link

i've heard tche belew by mergia + it's fab. i'm def gonna check out the new one.

Mordy , Saturday, 22 June 2013 20:46 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

this week the first worldwide release of Ethiopian jazz and funk band Hailu Mergia and the Walias' "Tche Belew” comes out on Awesome Tapes From Africa LP/CD/Digital/Cassette.

Recorded in 1977, the album went on to become one of the most celebrated of all Ethiopian pop recordings from the golden age of Addis Ababa’s live band scene, not to mention a "holy grail” LP that collectors trade for ~$4000 on eBay.

curmudgeon, Monday, 13 October 2014 19:06 (four years ago) link

five months pass...

Ethiopians living in DC and playing "classic" Ethiopian sounds live

curmudgeon, Friday, 27 March 2015 16:15 (four years ago) link


As we were going in and out of stores in Merkato, the largest open-market in East Africa located in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, talking to various shop owners who were identified as record suppliers, we realized the process was rather shadowy. We were talking to most of them as if we were chasing to buy illegal goods or blood diamonds. None of them had the vinyl records close at hand. They were hidden away, in their homes or some obscure place. Arrangements had to be made to meet and buy at later time. It seemed like an ambiguous adventure.

After exploring for sometime, we found reliable contacts. This one vinyl record retailer was telling us that he only had 70 records left after a clean up from a regular foreign collector. On top of that, the price of a vinyl record in Birr [Ethiopian currency] has rocketed. The suppliers were sitting on a goldmine with foreign buyers who will pay any price for African vinyl records. “They want them, there is a high demand for East African music. That’s all they keep asking for and they’ll pay any price,” the supplier said, with a nonchalant attitude, arms crossed across his chest.

As it turns out others count at a high price cultural material we discount.

We were stunned, even more when we realized that the highly inflated market price didn’t respond to haggling. To a point of reckoning that vinyls, in this town, presumably have become a fetished commodity. The wondering wouldn’t stop: could it be that prices are based on real value, or on the assumption of dealing with rarefied artifacts, or is the market merely dictated on high demand against low supply? Nonetheless, regardless of what the market says, it can’t be ignored that “predilection for vinyls is criticized as an antiquated, expensive, elitist practice of compulsive hoarding, which in turn fuels dubious and artificially inflated markets dealing in rarefied artifacts of technology and media”.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 7 April 2015 22:49 (four years ago) link

two months pass...

limited edition 7 inch on Max Whitefield’s Philophon imprint now available -- Ethio-jazz legend Hailu Mergia’s first recordings in decades

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 17 June 2015 16:33 (four years ago) link

been really into the king david harp volume recently

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Wednesday, 17 June 2015 16:39 (four years ago) link

Tesfa Mariam Kidane ( sax player on many of the Ethiopiques albums originally recorded between 65 and 72) will be sitting in with the Feedel Band in DC Sunday night July 5th at Colombia Station.

curmudgeon, Monday, 22 June 2015 15:44 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

Pianist, arranger, singer Girma Beyene who was on Ethiopiques 8, will be in DC and NYC and maybe elsewhere in October. From 1981 till some time in the 90s, he had left music and was living in DC. Some time in the 2000s he moved back to Addis, I think. Since around 2008 I think he has been playing again, including a bunch of gigs in Paris (some excerpts are on Youtube).

curmudgeon, Sunday, 21 August 2016 22:03 (three years ago) link

I saw another old-school Ethiopian perform this weekend-- guitarist Selamino Woldemarian w/ a keyboardist doing Ethiopian and jazz standards.

curmudgeon, Monday, 22 August 2016 13:43 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

For those who don't read the yearly Rolling Global World thread:

So this past Friday I saw Ethiopian piano legend Girma Beyene with DC based Ethiopian group Feedel Band. Despite an arrogant soundman who wouldn't make Girma's gorgeous, melancholy voice and piano louder in the mix, the show was very nice. Ethiopian singing star Mahmoud Ahmed was in the crowd, and Girma's producer, Francis Falceto, the curator of the Ethiopiques series was also there.

A short US tour for Girma, who had lived in DC from 1981 to 2010. NYC show coming up. He's been just hanging out in DC.

I met Falceto briefly at the show and after-show

curmudgeon, Monday, 17 October 2016 13:36 (two years ago) link

Nice. I recently filled in some gaps in the series I had, though it's still only the first fourteen total now all told.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 17 October 2016 14:00 (two years ago) link

Falceto also used to curate a festival in Ethiopia with H in Addis (his ilx posting name)

curmudgeon, Monday, 17 October 2016 16:02 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

pianist/singer, composer of "Muziqawi Salt" Girma Beyene is doing one last gig in DC with Feedel Band tonight; and one over the weekend in Richmond, VA before he heads back to Ethiopia (and occasional trips to France to play with a band there, and hang with his producer, Francis Falceto, the curator of the Ethiopiques series )

curmudgeon, Thursday, 3 November 2016 19:51 (two years ago) link

Several selections from various volumes ofEthiopiques incl. on one of my favorite albums this year, Rough Guide To Ethiopian Jazz
info, incl. gist of the music as one participant hears and plays it, audio excerpts, etc.

dow, Thursday, 3 November 2016 21:15 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

Here comes another historic addition to the Ethiopiques CD series with the upcoming release of its 30th volume next month featuring legendary Ethiopian singer and songwriter Girma Bèyènè.

"After 25 years of silence, the legend Girma Bèyènè is back alongside one of the greatest ethio groups, Akalé Wubé," the announcement said. "Under the direction of Francis Falceto (director of the famous Ethiopiques series Buda Musique) Girma and Akalé Wubé came together and recorded this album in order to immortalize this renaissance."

A digital release of Girma's new album, which is entitled Mistakes on Purpose, is scheduled for January 13th, 2017 by the French world music record label, Buda Musique, while a vinyl release is set for February 3rd, 2017.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 15 December 2016 03:20 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

I saw on Facebook that Ethiopian drummer Temare Haregu, who played with Hailu Mergia and was a founder of the Walias Band and can be heard on an Ethiopiques compilation or 2, has passed away.

― curmudgeon, Friday, December 30, 2016 4:38 PM (sixteen minutes ago

curmudgeon, Friday, 30 December 2016 16:55 (two years ago) link

Just saw pianist Girma Beyene again,with the Feedel Band. They have another gig or 2 in NYC coming up. Then Girma heads to Paris for his album release party (with a French band) before heading back to Ethiopia.

curmudgeon, Monday, 2 January 2017 19:24 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

Selam from Éthiopiques 7: Erè Mèla Mèla is playing every Friday night, just outside Washington DC.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 6 April 2017 16:21 (two years ago) link


Mordy, Thursday, 6 April 2017 16:23 (two years ago) link

Girma Yifrashewa has some very Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou -like passages

pavane to the darryl of strawberry (bendy), Thursday, 6 April 2017 18:56 (two years ago) link

Thanks. Yifrashewa and his influences seem to have very old-school Ethiopian piano roots I know little about

curmudgeon, Friday, 7 April 2017 14:46 (two years ago) link

Emahoy Tsegue Maryam Guebrou

In early 1960s Emahoy lived in Gondar studying the religious music of St Yared, composer and father of Mahlet, the early Ethiopian religious music

curmudgeon, Friday, 7 April 2017 14:49 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

Originally released in 1972 and newly-reissued, the groundbreaking Mulatu of Ethiopia

curmudgeon, Thursday, 8 June 2017 16:44 (two years ago) link

Not an Ethiopiques release as such, but it seems like a good place to discuss it

curmudgeon, Thursday, 8 June 2017 16:46 (two years ago) link

Bits of it are on volume 4 aren't they or is that all from elsewhere?

There was a review in Uncut this month too.

Stevolende, Thursday, 8 June 2017 16:51 (two years ago) link

Mulatu Astatke recording in Acton Massachusetts in 2010 while on a fellowship at Harvard doesn't punch many digger checkboxes, but I love this track

Mungolian Jerryset (bendy), Thursday, 8 June 2017 17:41 (two years ago) link

Bits of it are on volume 4 aren't they or is that all from elsewhere?

Good question, but I don't know

curmudgeon, Friday, 9 June 2017 14:14 (two years ago) link

Planning on seeing this tonight--

After completing a 2-month US Tour singing with American soul and Motown icon, STEVIE WONDER, Wayna traveled to Ethiopia to perform weekly at the Marriott Apartments in Addis Ababa, beginning on New Year’s Eve 2016. It was while there for 2 months that she studied the music and style of Ethiopian soul superstar, Bezunesh Bekele, known as “the Aretha Franklin of Ethiopia.”

curmudgeon, Friday, 9 June 2017 14:17 (two years ago) link

Disappointing night. Wayna only did 2 or 3 old songs (in part maybe because guitarist Selam W couldn't make it; the guitarist she had instead played schlocky Las Vegas arena rock stylings)

curmudgeon, Saturday, 10 June 2017 19:40 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

i'm kinda surprised no one's mentioned #9, featuring Alèmayèhu Eshèté. i guess #22 is also dedicated to him but i can't compare the two since i haven't heard it yet. but #9 is fucking sick from beginning to end. his band is really good and funky as hell. i can see why he got james brown comparisons - listen to "Gizew Honeshenna" - the tight, repetitive horn lines sound like that prime period when the JBs could do no wrong, and the drums just barely swing. it's so good. "Mekeyershin Salawq" sounds like an earlier period (the comp cover 1969-74), judging by the sound quality as well as the simpler composition, but it crackles with intensity.

Karl Malone, Friday, 29 September 2017 16:29 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

I loved #9. I actually am filling out some holes in my Ethiopiques collection and finally picked up #10: Tezeta. So fucking good, love that kind of dark and lovelorn vibe. Oh and Vol. 14 by G. Mekurya is amazing too.

The Fortnightly Intruder (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Monday, 27 November 2017 19:43 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Hailu Mergia, keyboardist, accordionist, taxi cab driver is getting love from NY Times, Bandcamp and elsewhere for his new album

curmudgeon, Friday, 23 February 2018 18:16 (one year ago) link

he rules

Tche Belew is nonstop solid jammage

brimstead, Friday, 23 February 2018 18:18 (one year ago) link

New compilation out put together by this guy-- Ernesto Chahoud‘s ‘TAITU Soul-fuelled Stompers from 1970s Ethiopia‘,

I found my first Ethiopian record in Beirut at the flea market. It was ‘Zemam Sew Lebene’ by Getatchew Kassa on the yellow-labelled Kaifa, which I later traded with my friend and DJ Partner Jan Weissenfeldt aka J.J. Whitefield, with whom I share what you can call the Ethio fever. The first Ethiopian record that triggered this fever though was ‘Ewnetgna Feker’ by the legendary Ethiopian singer Hirut Bekele. The first time I heard this record I wanted more and decided to go and dig in Ethiopia

curmudgeon, Monday, 26 February 2018 21:05 (one year ago) link

Got to give it a full listen

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 27 February 2018 18:48 (one year ago) link

he played in los angeles at a small cafe that sold out

bald butte (∞), Tuesday, 27 February 2018 18:59 (one year ago) link

Some of those Zanzibara volumes are quite good too seem to come from the same label. Certainly look pretty similar.
I think it's volumes 3& 5 that struck me most.

Stevolende, Tuesday, 27 February 2018 22:45 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

Off to hike the Semien Mountains in September with a few days in Addis Ababa before and after. Anyone got any recommendations for the best places to catch live trad music?

Minister of the Pillow (fionnland), Saturday, 30 June 2018 00:37 (one year ago) link

Send a message to H in Addis, maybe his ilxor email address works (see posts from him upthread)

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 4 July 2018 17:54 (one year ago) link

Have a look at Visiting Ethiopia, Minister. And definitely get in touch with H in Addis if you can. We caught some live trad music in, I think, Gondar. It was quite an experience - live 'rapping' or at least improvised vocals with quite bawdy lyrics (so I was told). Fantastic, jolly, welcoming atmosphere.

giraffe, Thursday, 5 July 2018 09:38 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

Sat. July 28 in Washington DC

* Love Wins--A celebration in honor of new Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s historic visit to #WashingtonDC with Ephrem Tamiru, Madingo Afwerk, Sami Berhane, Berehanu Tezera & More backed by Ras Band at Echostage (Ethiopian acts)

The Prime Minister is just meeting with the local Ethiopian community I think (not the us Prez)

curmudgeon, Friday, 27 July 2018 04:44 (one year ago) link

From Strut, out now:

We continue our work with the “Godfather Of Ethio Jazz”, Mulatu Astatke, with the first official reissues of his early classics ‘Afro Latin Soul’ Volumes 1 and 2 from 1966, recorded as The Ethiopian Quintet.

The albums were the first experiments in Astatke’s pioneering sound, fusing Ethiopian cultural music with Afro Latin and jazz forms. “I have always felt a deep connection between Latin and African music,” he explains. “I travelled to Cuba and listened to their musicians; the tempo, rhythm and feeling was very similar to different African forms.”

Astatke would start to perfect his Ethio jazz sound on his later album for Worthy in 1972, ‘Mulatu Of Ethiopia’ (STRUT129) but the two volumes of ‘Afro Latin Soul’ stand as important recordings documenting his early career.

‘Afro Latin Soul’ Volumes 1 and 2 come in their full original artwork and are painstakingly remastered by The Carvery. All formats feature personal liner notes by Mulatu Astatke.
More info, audio:

dow, Friday, 27 July 2018 15:18 (one year ago) link

wonderful, wonderful albums, of course. i have the bare-bones reissue of vol. 1, and it's never let me down. it has one of the best album covers in music (looks like a bridget riley) and makes for the perfect dinner-time music. i've heard vol. 2 but might have to pick it up on wax!

Karl Malone, Friday, 27 July 2018 15:36 (one year ago) link

ten months pass...

Last time I saw Hailu Mergia he had 2 jazz guys from somewhere backing him up and he was good. Last night in DC he had an Ethiopian bassist from DC and a Nigerian (I think) drummer from DC, both who play in DC African and reggae bands. Hailu played more keyboards than he did accordion and melodica. Very good show. What a unique sound. Btw, Hailu stopped being a Dulles Airport cabdriver late last year.

curmudgeon, Monday, 10 June 2019 12:38 (three months ago) link

Still kicking myself for missing the chance to see him in NYC recently

One Eye Open, Monday, 10 June 2019 14:47 (three months ago) link

You’re in luck. He’s gonna be back in Brooklyn July 27

curmudgeon, Monday, 10 June 2019 15:23 (three months ago) link

Actually, the drummer I saw was Ethiopian as well. He and the bassist both play in DC’s Feedel Band.

curmudgeon, Monday, 10 June 2019 15:52 (three months ago) link

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