Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Story of Ethio Jazz

Strut's recent release of Mulatu Astatke's collection of retrospective works, titled New York-Addis-London: The Story of Ethio Jazz 1965-1975, can hardly be considered disco, however I feel the amazing album has a rightful place on this site. This greatest hits-like release sheds light on one of African music's greatest artist. Astatke is pretty much the pioneer of Ethio jazz, which I find is very funky, with a blend of traditional Ethiopian melodies mixed nicely with the free-form improvisational elements of Western jazz. An interesting and fascinating fact about Astatke is he became the first African student to attend Harvard, which during time he also lived and recorded in New York. When I first picked up this record I really wasn't that familiar with Asatke or Ethio jazz. However, after just one listen, I was pretty much blown away and knew that this album would amount out to be one of the best releases of 2009. I couldn't also help to hear all the potential sampling material this record and Astatke's music, in general, could provide for some future amazing disco cuts. Overall, I continue to enjoy this record more and more, with each and every listen. For those maybe a bit on the fence, I highly recommend snatching up a copy while they still last.

Mulatu Astatke - I Faram Gami I Faram

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