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Beyond Addis

Contemporary Jazz & Funk Inspired By Ethiopian Sounds From The 70's

Beyond Addis Contemporary Jazz & Funk Inspired By Ethiopian Sounds From The 70's
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Trikont presents Beyond Addis: Contemporary Jazz & Funk Inspired By Ethiopian Sounds From The 70's, a compilation celebrating the Ethio-jazz of Addis Abeba. From the liner notes by compiler JJ Whitefield: "While mixing the debut album of my band The Whitefield Brothers in New York, master digger and funk aficionado Philip Lehman played me a tape of Mulatu Astatke's LP called Mulatu Of Ethiopia (1972). The muted sound didn't really hit a spot at first. But shortly after, when Mulatu's very rare albums Ethio Jazz (1974) and Modern Ethiopian Instrumentals (1972) were re-published on vinyl in Europe, I fell in love with it. Those recordings had been made in the early '70s in Addis Abeba together with local musicians. They sounded rough and funky, and they focused on traditional elements of Ethiopian music. A typical feature of the Ethiopian modes is their oriental sound. The music of 'Swinging Addis' of the '70s was a clash of opposite elements: western instruments (drums, bass, guitar, horns) and the stylistic influence of jazz, soul, R&B and rock'n'roll bumping into traditional techniques of singing and composing - a legacy of Ethiopian popular music. Jazz and Ethiopian music actually do have much in common - from polyrhythms to special intervals within the scales. Backpacked with North American jazz and funk rhythms, [Astatke] spiced up the nightlife of Addis Abeba and created the basis for Ethio-jazz. Ethio-jazz bands recruited a lot of their musicians from the abundant police and army ensembles - a tradition rooted in a decision the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Slassie had made: He had an orchestra from Armenia come to his court, and the conductor of this orchestra composed Ethiopia's national hymn and trained musicians for the army, the police and the Imperial Guard. A bubbly nightclub and party scene developed in the late '60s in Addis Abeba. 'Swinging Addis' had been born. When communist rebels overthrew Haile Selassie during a coup in 1977, most musicians went into exile and 'Swinging Addis' came to a sudden end. This couldn't dampen the power of Ethio-jazz, though. This compilation gives an overview of the work of young bands around the world inspired by Ethiopian music." Features: Akale Wube, The Heliocentrics, Imperial Tiger Orchestra, Budos Band, Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra, Woima Collective, Les Freres Smith, Karl Hector & The Malcouns, Zafari, Whitefield Brothers, Transgressors, Tezeta Band, The Shaolin Afronauts and Debo Band.

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