Showing posts with label improvisation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label improvisation. Show all posts

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Jazzmaris - Jazzmaris live at Guy's Bar [2016] [eth+ger]

Jazzmaris is a quartet from Ethiopia and Germany, playing since 2007 in Addis Ababa and elsewhere. The composition of the group is: drums, bass, electric guitar and alto saxophone.

Their music’s are Ethiopian melodies played as own arrangements with various influences like Jazz, Rock and improvised music.

The group’s name is a creation of the words Jazz and Asmaris. Asmaris are the traditional musicians of Ethiopia.They play and sing since centuries, expressing the feelings and opinions of the people.

Jazzmaris is giving Ethiopian music a new expression and sound

Jazzmaris - Ye Faransay Djelba (live at Guy's Bar)

The repertoire of Jazzmaris is mostly modern Ethiopian songs of singers like Mahmoud Ahmed, Girma Beyene, Muluken Melesse, Telahoun Gessesse and others. The aim of the group is to play Ethiopian music in a fresh way, giving the music a new expression and sound.

Jazzmaris - 01 - Ene Negn Bai Manesh (10:55)
Jazzmaris - 02 - Ye Fikir Wodmet (Bemin Sebeb Litlash) (12:13)
Jazzmaris - 03 - Mado Hanee (7:56)
Jazzmaris - 04 - Musicawi Silt (10:06)
Jazzmaris - 05 - Ye Faransay Djelba (6:28)
Jazzmaris - 06 - Yekatit (4:35)
Jazzmaris - 07 - Meche New (12:24)
Jazzmaris - 08 - Almaz Ye Hararwa (9:59)
Jazzmaris - 09 - Fikir Ende Kirar (7:33)
Jazzmaris - 10 - Aynotche Terabu (13:09)


Henock Temesgen - bass
Nathannael Tessema - drums 
Jörg Pfeil - guitar 
Olaf Boelsen - alto saxophone

Monday, November 14, 2016

Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics - Live at Broad Casting, Cargo, London, 17.april [2008] [uk+eth]


          Playing in London for the first time in 15 years Ethio-Jazz sound pioneer Mulatu Astatke, plays an exclusive live date at Cargo. His backing band will be made up of the fantastic Heliocentrics (Now Again / Stones Throw), who also provide a support set on the night. Host and DJ Karen P is also very happy to be joined by long-time friend, Gilles Peterson alongside NYC’s legendary party purveyor Karl Injex.

Born in Ethiopia in 1943, Mulatu Astatke is an innovative multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and originator of the Ethio-Jazz sound. Having studied music in London and then the US, he established himself as a vital vibraphone, conga and percussion player on both sides of the Atlantic before returning to his homeland to introduce Jazz, Soul and Latin to Ethiopia’s native musicians and artists. Included in the now legendary Ethiopiques compilations, 
Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers soundtrack, and much sampled by Hip-Hop and Dance producers alike, his sound will be familiar to many even if his name isn’t. These days Mulatu regularly lectures at Harvard and gave a memorable lecture at the Red Bull Music Academy in Toronto last year. Karen P’s Broad Casting is honoured to host Mulatu’s first UK performance in over 15 years.      

The Heliocentrics are drummer Malcolm Catto’s collective and are signed to Stones Throw’s sister imprint Now-Again. Having performed and recorded as DJ Shadow’s backing band, they have individually played major parts in bands such as the Soul Destroyers, Quantic Soul Orchestra and The Herbaliser. Malcolm himself released a solo album on Mo Wax and has been sampled by none other than Madlib. 

Pigeonholing The Heliocentrics sound is hard. Suffice to say that it takes in all manner of jazz, electronica, psychedelia and world music. Whilst they inhabit the funk universe of James Brown, they also capture some of the disorienting asymmetry of Sun Ra, the cinematic scope of Ennio Morricone and the sublime fusion of David Axelrod.

01. Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics - Yèkèrmo Sèw (Live) (5:38)
02. Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics - Gubèlyé (Live) (4:27)
03. Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics - Yègellé Tezeta (Live) (4:04)
04. Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics - Mulatu (Live) (7:36)
05. Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics - Kulumanqualeshi (Live) (7:11)
06. Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics - Kasalèfkut Hulu (Live) (6:33)
07. Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics - Ethio Blues (Live) (5:28)
08. Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics - Yèkatit (Live) (5:42)
09. Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics - Munayé (Live) (5:56)
10. Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics - Nètsanèt (Live) (6:34)


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Qwanqwa - Live [November 6 2014] [2014] [ethiopia]

       Qwanqwa is an experimental rock and traditional band that plays beloved and rare Ethiopian tunes with a unique twist. At its core, is instrumental, the band believes that to reach the widest audience, a single singer can limit the effect. However, the list of guests and collaborations is long, including both beloved and famous singers such as Fikeraddis, Habte Michael, Amelmal Abate, as well as beloved Azmari singers Selamnesh Zemene and Etenesh Wassie. Not limited to only singers, Qwanqwa also has invited the virtuoso masinqo player Endris Hassen, washint player Johannes Aferwork, Dawit Frew, Ethiopia’s foremost clarinetist and many other treasures of traditional instrumentalists to join them.

Qwanqwa - Tizita (Live at Mulatu's African Jazz Village)

      Qwanqwa comprises four members: Mesele Asmamaw, kirar, has been a composer and arranger in Ethiopia for over 20 years. He has released many albums of his compositions as well as traveled extensively throughout Europe and Africa. Dawit is a master of the bass kirar, his interests and experience have informed his unique sound which is at times funky, at times sentimental but always solid and appropriate. Sami, Qwanqwa’s rhythmic backbone, brings a young fresh enthusiasm to the group’s sound. He incorporates tambourine, bells and other homemade percussion to increase the variety of moods. Kaethe Hostetter, five-string electric violin, has been playing Ethiopian music for more than six years. She is a founding member of the critically acclaimed Debo Band, the first Ethiopian band based in the US.

Qwanqwa - Live November 6 2014 (62:45)

                                                                               143 MB (320 kbps)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Dub Colossus - A town called Addis [2006] [ethiopia]

   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

       This project brings together an extraordinary but little known African musical heritage, a labour of love recording in a makeshift studio in down-town Addis Ababa and then a journey back to Real World to capture for the first time ever in the UK some of Ethiopia's finest performers.

       This project is the vision of Dub Colossus - Dubulah - aka Nick Page. Composer, guitarist, bass player and programmer Nick started his music career with Michael Riley (Steel Pulse) and in 1990 formed Transglobal Underground with Tim and Hammi, produced-wrote-played six albums before leaving in 1997 to form Temple of Sound with Neil Sparkes.

       Ethiopian music is the hidden gem of Africa. At the end of the Sixties and the early Seventies, Ethiopia was in the dying years of the imperial decline of Haile Selassie and the early years of a brutally repressive junta led by Mengistu. Within the confines of this stifling and constrictive environment there flowered some astonishing music. At times showing Fela Kuti's influences, in the big band sax flavour and other times a different take on regional music, this is a music that is accessible to all and has been championed by the likes of Robert Plant, Brian Eno and Elvis Costello. The style of contemporary Ethiopia music captured by Dub Colossus ranges from dreamy blues, hypnotic grooves, jazz piano and driving funk brass.

       "A Town Called Addis" was inspired by meeting , writing and working with singers and musicians in Addis Ababa in August 2006, and is a collaboration between Dub Colossus (Nick Page) and these amazing musicians covering Azmari and traditional styles as well as the popular singing styles of the 60s and 70s. It seeks to combine the golden years of ethiopique beats (popular again thanks to the release of the critically acclaimed 'Ethiopique' compliation ) and ethiojazz with the dub reggae styles of early 70s reggae groups like the Abyssinians, Mighty Diamonds and so on. along with a hint of Sun Ra..." (Dub Colossus/aka Nick Page)

       The first sessions took place in a breeze block hut under corrugated iron roof bombarded by the sounds of the rainy season high up on the mountain plateau where Addis is built. "...the sound of children playing, dogs barking and women washing all permeate the sessions and help the flavour of the record, albeit as ambient smoke.....Although a howling cat chasing a rat under the roof destroyed one vocal take completely...!"

       We brought these unique urban field recordings home to Real World to complete the picture. In March 2008 we invited a group of outstanding performers from Addis to travel to the UK. Some of these artists are unknown talents who have never traveled outside of their country before now, while others such as singer Sintayehu 'Mimi' Zenebe (Addis Ababa night club owner and know as the Ethiopian Edith Piaf ) and master saxophonist Feleke Hailu (a classical composer, lecturer and head of music at the Yared Music School and part of a dynastic tradition that stretches back far beyond the classic hits his father arranged for Mahmoud Ahmad in the late 1960s) have a huge reputation. They are joined by Teremag Weretow who, with his plaintive voice, playing his messenqo ( one-string fiddle) is a youthful carrier of an ancient tradition; extraordinary pianist Samuel Yirga is an exciting new discovery - a young prodigy of classical and Ethiojazz and finally the glamourous star Tsedenia Gebremarkos, winner of a Kora award as the best female singer in East Africa in 2004,

       From the most primitive recording context to one of the best in the world, this project is an audio journey - and discovery of one of the most alluring, funky and seductive genres of African music.

01. Dub Colossus - Azmari Dub (5:05)
02. Dub Colossus - Entoto Dub (5:55)
03. Dub Colossus - Tazeb Kush (5:52)
04. Dub Colossus - Shegye Shegitu (Blue Nile Mix) (3:54)
05. Dub Colossus - Shegye Shegitu (One Drop mix) (4:49)
06. Dub Colossus - Yeka Sub City Rockers (5:04)
07. Dub Colossus - Shem City Steppers (5:28)
08. Dub Colossus - Tizita Dub (7:38)
09. Dub Colossus - Black Rose (4:06)
10. Dub Colossus - Neh Yelginete (5:40)
11. Dub Colossus - Ophir Dub (4:40)
12. Dub Colossus - Sima Edy (4:40)
13. Dub Colossus - Mercato Music (5:47)
14. Dub Colossus - Ambassel (4:40)
15. Dub Colossus - Ambassel In Box (5:47)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Black Flower - Abyssinia Afterlife [2014] [b]

      Born out of a surreal experience and with strong devotion Black Flower takes you on a lucid voyage through the gardens of the Abyssinian afterlife. A highly remarkable place, far away from what you and I would call reality. It is a place where strange creatures and unfamiliar sounds merge into a harmony of the weird and the beautiful.

       It is said that these are the secret realms of the long past legendary ruler of Ethiopia, Sir Prester John. Some even claim that he composed these sounds as a way of ruling his ancient land. Whether this is fact or myth, nobody knows for sure...

     Now, for the first time, we have the chance to get a glimpse of this mystical empire. It is no secret any more that Nathan Daems has been chosen to witness this special place. Being such an overwhelming experience, he felt the urge, even the obligation, to share this with the real world. The result is a record he applicably called “Abyssinia Afterlife”.

     It was no easy task finding the right people for this job. In his years of musical exploration, Nathan kept searching for the right people to team up with. A challenging process, because they needed to embrace the idea of looking to music from a whole new perspective. They needed to be able to capture the Abyssinia Afterlife as if they had visited it them-selves. Finally he found four young and dedicated spirits who could do the job.

 This is the moment Black Flower was born.

  Black Flower - Upwards  

 Track list:

    1. Solar Eclipse 6:39 
    2. Upwards 4:59 
    3. I threw a lemon at that girl 5:20 
    4. Jungle desert 4:50 
    5. Winter 5:35 
    6. Star fishing 5:42 
    7. The legacy of Prester John 3:41 
    8. Again I lost it 4:57 
    9. Abyssinia afterlife 7:45

 Nathan Daems - Soprano saxophone, Tenor saxophone, Melodica, Flute 
 Jon Birdsong - Cornet 
 Simon Segers - Drums 
 Wouter Haest - Piano and keyboards 
 Filip Vandebril - Bass, Effects 


Monday, July 6, 2015

Ethio Cali - various tracks [2014] [usa+eth]

       Ethio Cali is a Los Angeles-based Ethio-Jazz ensemble, led by trumpeter, arranger, and composer Todd Simon. The ensemble’s sublime sound is inspired by the golden age of Ethiopian music of the 1960’s and 70’s, filtered through a lens that is uniquely Los Angeles.  

           Acknowledging the diverse musical foundations of Ethio-Jazz, the ensemble also draws inspiration from the rhythmic and melodic textures of Sudan, Somalia, Ghana, and Colombia.  Ethio Cali’s published cassette Live at The Blue Whale.  [ find it : HERE ]

Todd Simon's Ethio-Cali Ensemble - Fowler Museum at UCLA 8/14/11

 Ethio Cali features:

Todd Simon – Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Music Director
Kamasi Washington – Tenor Saxophone
Randal Fisher – Tenor Saxophone
Mark de Clive-Lowe – Keys
Alan Lightner – Steel Pan
Damon Aaron – Guitar
Pat Bailey – Bass
Steve Haney – Percussion
Te’Amir Yohannes Sweeney – Percussion
Dexter Story – Drums

Extended Family: 

Kamasi Washington - Tenor Sax 
Justo Almario - Tenor Sax/Clarinet 
Richi Panta - Percussion 
Geoff Mann - Percussion 
Elizabeth Lea - Trombone 
Mark Cross - Keys 
Thomas Lea - Viola 
Tylana Renga - Vioin 
Peter Jacobson - Cello 

Special Guests: 

Dereb the Ambassador 
Kelela Martin 
Perna (Antibalas/Ocote Soul Sounds) 
Jared Tankel (Budoes Band) 
Aaron Johnson (Antibalas/FELA!) 
Vardan Ovsepian 
Semere-Ab Etmet 
Yohannes Tutu 
Sweeney Rickey

EthioCali - 01 - Azmar (11:19)
EthioCali - 02 - Mulatu (13:14)
EthioCali - 03 - Sabye (My Saba) - Live @ Del Monte Speakeasy March 17,12 (7:10)
EthioCali - 04 - Sidama de Cali (5:11)
EthioCali - 05 - Tadias - Live @ Del Monte Speakeasy March 17, 2012 (7:10)
EthioCali - 06 - Tiny Pyramids (8:08)
EthioCali - 07 - Zafari Live at the Blue Whale (9:37)
EthioCali - 08 - Zafari (8:50)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mulatu Astatke - [2009] - New York-Addis-London - The Story of Ethio Jazz 1965-1975 [FLAC] [ethiopia]

Mulatu Astatke - New York-Addis-London [Full Album]

       Ethio jazz. That's what Mulatu Astatke called his style of music when he invented it back in the 1960s, and it means exactly what it implies: Ethiopian melodies played on Western instruments with room for improvisation. Astatke was a pioneer for his country's modern music. His concept of instrumental music as an end in itself was a bit foreign in his homeland, where singers rule the popular music sphere, and he was among the very first musicians from Ethiopia to learn about music while abroad. He started playing as a teenager at school in Wales, and after a stint at London's Trinity School of Music, he jumped the Atlantic for a brief stay at Boston's Berklee College of Music, ultimately winding up in New York City in the mid-60s. There, he was exposed to sounds he simply couldn't have heard back home in Addis Ababa, and his exposure to jazz and Western harmonic concepts led him to formulate Ethio jazz, the perfect hybrid of the traditional and the modern.

         His first attempts to forge his new genre occurred in the U.S., and his band members were mostly Puerto Rican. You can tell by listening, too. The several tracks here lifted from his two Afro Latin Soul LPs bear a strong stamp of boogaloo, Latin jazz, and other Americo-Caribbean forms. When he returned to Ethiopia, he arrived at a time when the country was opening up as never before, and Addis Ababa was as cosmopolitan as cities came, boiling with cultural restlessness that fed a vibrant nightlife. Recording resources were limited, but in 1969, Mulatu began cutting tracks for Amha Eshèté's Amha, the first independent label ever established in the country. He worked primarily as an arranger, but frequently wrote and recorded instrumentals to serve as B-sides for vocal songs, some of which are being issued here for the first time outside Ethiopia.

       Astatke brought a unique skill set back to Addis with him, where he was able to employ musicians who'd grown up with the music he was so consciously modernizing. The resulting music is simply brilliant, fresh even decades later. The way Mulatu harmonized horns, combining pentatonic Ethiopian melody with Western chord concepts, sounds like no one else-- the music seems both ancient and modern at once, befitting the mixture of raw ingredients. This compilation is utterly intoxicating from the first note to the last-- preternaturally funky, haunting, complex, memorable, exciting, and unique, Ethio jazz easily transcends the era in which it was made.

       "Mulatu", from his 1972 LP Mulatu of Ethiopia, recorded in New York with members of Mongo Santamaria's band during a visit to the States, is a brilliant signature track, a darkly funky tune with a hint of Caribbean shuffle, snaking sax solos, Mulatu's own cloudy vibraphone, and a bit of wah-pedaled Wurlitzer. The stately, smoky "Netsanet" is drawn from 1974's Yekatit: Ethio Jazz LP, the very first Ethiopian LP to be conceived as an album in advance (as opposed to a collection of 45 sides). Like the other songs from that album, it has a weighty solemnity to it that betrays the difficult revolutionary period during which it was recorded. My favorite Mulatu track, "Ené Alantchie Alnorem", was previously featured on Buda Musique's Ethiopiques Volume 4 compilation, and it still kills here. It is a song without a solid core: its fluttering electric piano, flute, and drums spin in an ethereal wash, held together by wind sound effects and a heavy sonority, and the descending piano line that outlines the chords feels like it's falling and catching itself on each beat.

       A handful of vocal tracks dot the compilation, and they're all outstanding as well. "Ebo Lala" features Seifu Yohannes putting on his best Bollywood-inspired show, huffing and puffing over a heavy Latin beat and blasting horn section. "Wubit", featuring Muluken Melesse, has a cool, funky crime jazz strut, a sick breakdown, and a quintessentially Ethiopian melismatic vocal-- that this song has remained hidden from all but a few collectors in Ethiopia until now is almost criminal. Even Mulatu's very first foray into recording, the Latin-tinged instrumental "Shagu", bears his unmistakable signature, playing its cycling piano riff two octaves lower than in most Latin music and featuring a dark, mysterious vibraphone lead playing between Ethiopian pentatonics and modal concepts nicked from post-bop jazz.

Mulatu Astatke - Yefikir Tizita

       Ethio jazz was never a commercial success in Ethiopia. That Ahma and Philips Ethiopia even saw fit to release any of it is a credit to their commitment to art over commerce, and even today it remains little-heard in its homeland. But Mulatu was a master craftsman and one of the most supremely inventive composers of a time when an awful lot of creative music was being made around the world. He's still going today, guesting on radio shows and teaching in Addis, and he released a great album with London's the Heliocentrics as his backing band earlier this year. But even if he'd disappeared after 1975, his legacy would be sealed.

by Joe Tangari

Friday, November 7, 2014

Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex Orchestra - Live at Diksmuide [2006] [bootleg]

   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

      The meeting of the mythical Dutch punk-rock band The Ex and the legendary Ethiopian saxophonist Getatchew Mekuria has given rise to a CD (Terp Records) as well as many performances to enthusiastic audiences in various venues and festivals, among them the concert in Diksmuide.  

      Most compositions come from the Ehtiopian repertoire. While The Ex do not speak Amharic and Getatchew understands only a few words of English, communication flows between them, in the sensitive way they find musical solutions, the energy they put in and the instant pleasure of playing together.

Getatchew Mekuria (Mekurya) Biography

Gétatchèw Mèkuria is an Ethiopian jazz saxophonist.

       Mèkuria began his musical studies on traditional Ethiopian instruments such as the krar and the messengo, and later moved on to the saxophone and the clarinet. Upon reaching adolescence, he began his career in 1949 as a part of the Municipality Band in Addis Ababa.

       In 1965 he joined the famous Police Orchestra. He was also one of the first musicians to play an instrumental version of the Ethiopian war chant “Shellela.” 

      With the album Negus of Ethiopian Sax (since re-released as part of the Ethiopiques CD series), Mekuria became known as internationally as one of the most important proponents of Ethio-jazz.

    He has had a long career working alongside many of the biggest orchestras in the Ethiopian capital. He has also accompanied Alemayehu Eshete, Hirut Beqele and Ayalew Mesfin. He still lives in Addis, and shows up regularly at the Sunset Bar at the Sheraton.

     In 1974, he became a professor of police orchestras (?) in Addis, where he still lives.

     The album "Negus of Ethiopian Sax" caught the ears of Dutch avant-garde/punk band The Ex who invited the septuagenarian sax player to perform at their 25th anniversary show in Amsterdam. In turn, Mekuria asked The Ex to be the backup band for his 2006 album, Moa Anbessa. The Ex and Mekuria toured The Netherlands, Belgium and France together in 2006 and 2007.

01. Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex Orchestra - Muziqawi Silt (5:24)
02. Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex Orchestra - Ethiopia Hagere (7:01)
03. Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex Orchestra - Sethed Seketelat (5:05)
04. Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex Orchestra - Ambassèl (5:06)
05. Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex Orchestra - Belomy Benna (6:16)
06. Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex Orchestra - Che Belew Shellela (4:41)
07. Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex Orchestra - Aynamaye Nesh (5:08)
08. Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex Orchestra - Aynotche terabu/Shemonmwanaye (8:08)
09. Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex Orchestra - Eoleyo (6:51)
10. Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex Orchestra - Aha Begena (6:57)
11. Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex Orchestra - Tezalegn Yetentu (11:17)
12. Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex Orchestra - (Getatchew Mekuria solo encore) (4:35)

The Ex – Biography

      After their start in 1979 The Ex developed over the years into a melting-pot of divergent musical styles: noise, rock, jazz, improvisation, and ethnic music have been interweaved under one unique umbrella: ‘Ex-music’. Discordant, highly rhythmic guitars, the rolling, almost African drumming style, and the furious delivery of the often sarcastic lyrics give the music of The Ex its special character.

      So far, in almost 28 years, The Ex played 1,270 concerts all over Europe, Northern America and Africa, and made over 20 CD-albums. Never pigeon-holed into one of pop music’s corny corners, The Ex is continuously in development, and always open for new ideas and collaborations with people of all kinds, people who’s spirit inspires and appeals to the group. The main principle remained; to make music with heart and soul, out of reach of commercial trends or expectations. The consequent independent approach of the group and the manner in which they organize their concerts and release and distribute their records themselves, set a significant example for the alternative music circuit.