There has been a lot of great new releases coming out this spring. One of the records that I just purchased and am very excited about comes from a newer group called the Imperial Tiger Orchestra. This Switzerland based group just released their debut twelve-inch single Addis Abeba off of Mentalgroove Records. On this new record, the seven-piece Swedish band nicely blends together funky Ethio jazz alongside some heavy Afrobeat grooves. The record combines some live recordings of re-worked classics including Mulatu Astatke's "Emnete" and Mahmoud Ahmed's "Etu Gela", as well as a traditional Ethio jazz song in "Bati>" and a studio version of Muluqen Melesse's "Djemeregne". Overall, the record is a very solid debut as it produces a new modern take on some of Ethio jazz's most influential and traditional songs. As time goes on, I look forward to hearing more from this very talented group of musicians. Until then, I will be certainly enjoying Addis Abeba.
Imperial Tiger Orchestra - Emnete (Live @ Addis Abeba)