Blogtrotters

Showing posts with label soul. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soul. Show all posts

Friday, October 27, 2017

Wayna - The Expats [2013] [usa-ethiopia]




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       It has been said that Ethiopian-born, singer/songwriter Wayna possesses a voice that is as sweet and pure as it is honest and passionate. This young talent’s love for music started as a child, when she starred in theater productions like “Annie,” and “Damn Yankees” and toured with a children’s musical review company. Wayna went on to hone her vocal talents as a young adult by absorbing the works of her favorite artists, including Minnie Riperton, Billie Holiday, Stevie Wonder, and Donny Hathaway.






Wayna - Daydream





       While in college, Wayna was crowned Miss Black Unity of the University of Maryland in 1995, earning a one year tuition scholarship and special honors for “Best Talent” and “Best Response to Question” at the 17th annual pageant. The following year, she founded a gospel quartet and performed with the group at the World Famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY, where they placed as finalists in the Amateur Night competition. She traveled with the critically acclaimed University of Maryland Gospel Choir and regularly performed at churches and gospel showcases throughout the East coast.






           After earning a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in English and Speech Communication from the University of Maryland, Wayna began her professional career as a Writer in the White House for the Clinton administration. But soon, the pull to realize her dream as a recording artist would prove too great. She left to concentrate on her music full-time. 

    Since then, Wayna has collaborated with legendary studio icon/producer Bill Laswell, with critically and comercially hailed producer Eran Tabib, Jive Records producer, Veit Renn, and former Touch of Jazz standout, Kev Brown. She is a featured vocalist/co-writer on on the Sly and Robbie album, Version Born released by Palm Pictures and also featuring contributions from Killah Priest, Black Thought, and N’dea Davenport. She’s also served as a featured vocalist and writer on a number of independent projects for artists, including W. Ellington Felton, Kenn Starr, Kev Brown, Cy Young, and Tamara Wellons.











       Unlike Wayna's jazzy neo-soul albums Moments of Clarity, Book 1 and Higher Ground (which earned her a Grammy nod for "Lovin You (Music)"), her latest release, The Expats, explores the Ethiopian-born singer-songwriter's desire to sonically travel, employing greater world beat influences while drawing on unexpected sides of her voice. 

     Standout opening track "Yo Yo" shows off her dreamy melodic vocals against African beats, revealing that although she's labeled a progressive R&B artist, she would shine in more rock-based genres, too; on the theatrical "Freak Show," her crazy range soars to operatic levels. There are moments where Wayna's flawlessly executed vocals sound strident, making one miss the sultry soul she showcased on previous releases, like "I Don't Want to Wait," a track on which uncooperative production aims itself in too many directions, ultimately working against itself. Overall, Wayna has an innate ability to enrich each song with atmosphere, making The Expats a sweeping global affair: the songs take you to the Sahara desert ("Echo") and the lush plains of Jamaica ("Amazing"), all the while bringing something to music that is too special to ignore.





01. Wayna - Yo Yo (5:44)
02. Wayna - Time Will Come (feat. Emperor Haile Selassie) (4:44)
03. Wayna - Echo (4:28)
04. Wayna - Amazing (4:01)
05. Wayna - I Don't Wanna Wait (4:25)
06. Wayna - Freak Show Intro (feat. Chris Rouse) (0:43)
07. Wayna - Freak Show (4:25)
08. Wayna - Long as You Know (feat. Setgn Satenaw) (5:17)
09. Wayna - Send It Away (feat. Frederic Yonnet) (4:42)
10. Wayna - Holy Heathen (feat. Naz Tana) (6:00)




Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Kafa Beanz - Andromeda: The Chronicles Of Blackopia, Volume 1 [2008] [usa+eth]












        The Kafa Beanz is a collective of solo artists who blend their Ethiopian culture and music with hip hop, soul, and alternative musical textures. The name “Kafa Beanz” is a play on words.  If one looks at a map of Ethiopia, there is the Kafa region where coffee is known to originate. Coffee was “discovered” by the Portuguese in Ethiopia in the middle ages.  Coffee is the primary export of Ethiopia to this day and considered the country’s most valuable export. This group of young artists, primarily of Ethiopian origin, wanted to express that the true value of Ethiopia is in the people, thus the name Kafa Beanz. 

        The Kafa Beanz formed in 2007 when a group of accomplished Ethiopian-American musicians, producers and vocalist who have been longtime fans of each other’s respective work decided to join forces. Their first project as a collective is entitled “Andromeda: The Chronicles of Blackopia  Vol. 1.”  The project’s title pays homage to Princess Andromeda who, according to Greek Mythology, was the daughter of Cassiopeia and Cepheus, the king of Ethiopia.






Gabriel Teodros - "Tizita"




          The Kafa Beanz consists of lead vocalists B Sheba(rapper /singer) and Burntface (rapper/producer) and is rounded out by Wayna (singer/songwriter), Gabriel Teodros (rapper), AP (rapper/singer) and various Special Guest Appearances including Hermela Mulatu (singer), daughter of Ethiopian Jazz Musician Mulatu Astatke.

        The Kafa Beanz is a group of solo artists who share a passion for Africa and a desire to expose their music to the world. Four of the five members are of Ethiopian origin, and the exotic sounds of East Africa are evident in their music.









        Despite having a sonic texture heavily influenced by 60s and 70s era Ethiopian Jazz music, The Kafa Beanz have a universal sound that has often been compared to The Fugees, Black Eyed Peas and Outkast. The Kafa Beanz effortlessly blends soulful vocal harmonies and poignant lyrics over an eclectic mixture of classic hip hop and futuristic world music. 









       Each member is an accomplished artist in their own right with their own respective fan bases. Their collective professional experience and talents make for a powerful and versatile combination that can rock a party crowd or tantalize a jazzy lounge or café. In a time when the traditional music industry paradigm is crashing in on itself, and genres are being disregarded, The Kafa Beanz are poised to be the future of world music.




The Kafa Beanz - 01 - Andromeda (1:45)
Wayna, Burntface - 02 - Let It Go (5:04)
Burntface, AP, B Sheba, Wayna - 03 - IRock (2:53)
Burntface, B Sheba, AP - 04 - AA++ (2:28)
B Sheba, Burntface, AP - 05 - Arada  (4:15)
AP, Wayna - 06 - Rebel (2:58)
B Sheba - 07 - Babylon Blues (4:35)
Burntface, B Sheba - 08 - History (3:05)
Wayna, Burntface - 09 - Love's Fool (3:24)
B Sheba, Hermela Mulatu, Burntface, Gabriel Teodros - 10 - Hope (4:43)
Burntface - 11 - Fly Away (3:45)
Burntface, B Sheba, Malik (30), Texx - 12 - Diaspora (3:41)
Gabriel Teodros, B Sheba - 13 - Tizita (4:07)
Wayna - 14 - Final Transmition (3:44)





Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Ejigayehu 'Gigi' Shibabaw - Gigi [2001] [ethiopia]





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        Ejigayehu Shibabaw, known by her stage name Gigi, is one of the most successful contemporary Ethiopian singers worldwide. She has brought the music of Ethiopia to wider recognition and developed it in combination with a wide variety of other genres often in collaboration with her husband Bill Laswell, a bassist and producer.


       Gigi was born and raised in Chagni in northwestern Ethiopia. She has described learning traditional songs from an Ethiopian Orthodox priest in the family home. She lived in Kenya for a few years before moving to San Francisco in about 1998.

       Gigi recorded two albums for the expatriate Ethiopian community, but it was her 2001 album, titled simply Gigi, that brought her widespread attention. She had been noticed by Palm Pictures owner Chris Blackwell, who had years earlier introduced reggae to the mainstream through his former label, Island Records. Blackwell and Gigi's producer (and later, husband) Bill Laswell, decided to use American jazz musicians (including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Pharoah Sanders, and others) to accompany Gigi on the album.

      The result was a fusion of contemporary and traditional sounds. The album was a critical success internationally and generated controversy in her home country for such a radical break with Ethiopian popular music. This release was soon followed by Illuminated Audio, an ambient dub style remix of the album by Laswell.

      2003 saw the release of Zion Roots, under the band name Abyssinia Infinite. Bill Laswell played guitar and keyboard (instead of his usual bass), and several of Gigi's family members contributed vocals. The album was a return to a mainly acoustic sound for Gigi, incorporating instruments such as the krar and the tabla. The track "Gole" is in Agaw, the language of Gigi's father's village.


    Gigi is married to her producer Bill Laswell, and they have a son, Aman, who has accompanied his parents with vocals. Her younger sister, singer Tigist Shibabaw, died under unknown circumstances in 2008.






Gigi - Gud Fella





Gigi - Vocals
Bill Laswell - Producer, Bass, Guitar, Keyboards
Abonesh Adenew, Dawit Melesse, Hebest Tirunehe, Imani Uzuri, Mizanekristos Yohannes, Tigist Shibabaw - Backing Vocals
Thomas Gobena - Bass
Hamid Drake, Mikias Abebayehu - Drums, Percussion
Karsh Kale - Drums, Tabla, Keyboards
Mark Taylor - French Horn
David Gilmore, Nicky Skopelitis, Zakki Jewad - Guitar
Abegasu Shiota, Amina Claudine Myers, Dereje Mekonnen, Herbie Hancock - Keyboards
Abdou M'Boup, Aiyb Dieng, Melaku Gelaw, Setegne Satenaw - Percussion
Henry Threadgill, Pharoah Sanders, Wayne Shorter - Saxophone
Art Baron - Trombone- Accordion






01. Ejigayehu 'Gigi' Shibabaw - Gud Fella (5:35)
02. Ejigayehu 'Gigi' Shibabaw - Mengeoegna (5:33)
03. Ejigayehu 'Gigi' Shibabaw - Tew Ante Sew (4:20)
04. Ejigayehu 'Gigi' Shibabaw - Abay (5:18)
05. Ejigayehu 'Gigi' Shibabaw - Bale Washintu (5:35)
06. Ejigayehu 'Gigi' Shibabaw - Guramayle (4:27)
07. Ejigayehu 'Gigi' Shibabaw - Sew Argen (5:16)
08. Ejigayehu 'Gigi' Shibabaw - Aynama (5:05)
09. Ejigayehu 'Gigi' Shibabaw - Kahn (3:47)
10. Ejigayehu 'Gigi' Shibabaw - Zomaye (4:00)
11. Ejigayehu 'Gigi' Shibabaw - Abet Wubet (4:07)
12. Ejigayehu 'Gigi' Shibabaw - Nafeken (5:23)
13. Ejigayehu 'Gigi' Shibabaw - Adwa (5:02)




Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Zvuloon Dub System - Anbessa Dub [2014] [isr+eth]









       Zvuloon Dub System is Israel's leading Reggae band. Adopting their name from one of the twelve tribes of Israel, the band was formed in 2006 by the Smilan brothers. They shared the same passion for roots reggae and dub, with influences from a variety of music styles, like Ethiopian jazz and rare grooves from the 70’s, USA's soul, funk and jazz, alongside with Israeli mizrahi (oriental) music.





   Zvuloon Dub System - Anbessa Dub [FULL ALBUM]   



band members:

Gili Yalo - lead vocals, 
Inon Peretz - trumpet, 
Ilan Adiri - tenor sax, 
Ilan Smilan - lead guitar, 
Simon Nahum - rhythm guitar, 
Lior Romano - piano and organ, 
Tal Marcus - bass, 
Asaf Smilan - drums and percussion 


guests artists:

Mahmoud Ahmed - vocals (5), 
Zemene Melesse - vocals (8), 
Yaacov Lilay - vocals (7), krar (1,7,10), 
Dejen Manchelot – masinko (10), 
Roei Hermon - trumpet (6, 9), 
Yonatan Voltzok - trombone ?(1-5, 7) 
Maayan Milo – trombone (6,8,9), 
Omri Abramov - alto Sax (1-3, 5-7,9),
Elad Gellert -? baritone sax (1), 
Shay Sattaman Jacovi - backing vocals (8) 








Monday, November 16, 2015

Munit and Jorg - ፪ - Munit + Jorg [2013 [ethiopia] [ger+eth]









       Munit and Jörg have been creating a most unique and energized blend of Ethio-Acoustic Soul music in Addis Abeba, around Ethiopia and the world! This Ethio-German duet has been entertaining thousands of people with their exciting and engaging live shows, sharing their love for funk, soul and Ethiopian flavors with audiences everywhere.

      Since the duet formed in 2007, Munit and Jörg have had a great journey performing in all the best jazz and world clubs in Addis Abeba. With just one voice and one guitar, they create sounds that are larger than life while bringing an intimacy that makes their audience feel as though they are sitting with old friends in their living room. They believe in creating a positive and uplifting vibration where the audience becomes part of ‘the band, clapping, singing and moving to the music even if it’s in a language they don’t understand!

      Munit’s voice soars in perfect harmony and beat with the rhythmic strumming and drumming of Jörg’s playing as they infuse new energy into old song and tell their own personal stories with joy and play at the heart of it all.




Munit and Jorg - Yekermo Sew




       Munit + Jorg second album, a studio production entitled “፪ ። 2”, was released in March 2013. The title represents the fact that it is the two of them that were the executive producers and artistic directors this project. It is also their second album and the blend of two cultures that has created their unique music! 

       The long-awaited album contains 14 songs, of which 9 are originals and 5 are well-loved familiar tunes ranging from an updated classic by 
legendary krar player, vocalist and actress Asnakech Worku, to children’s songs and an Ethio-jazz standard originally arranged by Ethiopian musical icon Mulatu Astatke. The combination of the new and old provides something for everybody, for those who crave to remember the good old days to those who crave new visions, styles and sounds in Ethiopian music. 

     The album includes many styles and the songs tell personal stories and universal truths with layers of guitar and voice and a few touches of percussion by guest drummers Natnael Tessema and Teferi Assefa




Munit and Jorg - 01 - Hagere (4:10)
Munit and Jorg - 02 - Abet Abet (4:14)
Munit and Jorg - 03 - I Remember (4:39)
Munit and Jorg - 04 - Yekermo Sew (3:52)
Munit and Jorg - 05 - Kraro (2:33)
Munit and Jorg - 06 - Bale Gari (3:31)
Munit and Jorg - 07 - Trans-Africa Highway (4:32)
Munit and Jorg - 08 - Fana Wogi (3:29)
Munit and Jorg - 09 - Yegize Te-Amer (4:04)
Munit and Jorg - 10 - Vanity (4:38)
Munit and Jorg - 11 - Ete Mete (4:35)
Munit and Jorg - 12 - Sister (3:49)
Munit and Jorg - 13 - Abaye (4:43)
Munit and Jorg - 14 - Selam (3:14)




Sunday, November 1, 2015

De la Abesh - Addis [1995] [ethiopia]

  


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Soul, Funk, Hip-Hop & Rap





01. De La Abesh - Cheb (4:40)
02. De La Abesh - Xirak's Tizita Jam (5:44)
03. De La Abesh - Saynega (4:41)
04. De La Abesh - De'laaw (6:37)
05. De La Abesh - Ye-ge'le (4:13)
06. De La Abesh - Ye'nema (6:19)
07. De La Abesh - Sebebe (5:29)
08. De La Abesh - Addis pt 1 & 2 (8:21)
09. De La Abesh - De La Abesh pt 1 (5:12)
10. De La Abesh - Sela (4:23)









Ester Rada - Life Happens ЕP [2012] [israel / ethiopia]



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Ester Rada - Life Happens (Official Video)





       Ester Rada is an Israeli actress and singer.

      Ester Rada’s cross-cultural sound is a deep reflection of the Israeli born Ethiopian’s heritage. Growing up in a highly religious Jewish family in more than modest conditions in Israel, gave Rada the drive to change her way of life and fulfill her dream of creating music.





      Ester recently released her debut album "Ester Rada", after releasing her acclaimed first self-written and composed solo EP called "Life Happens", which was produced by Israeli producers Kuti (Kutiman/Thru-You) and Sabbo (Soulico), at the beginning of 2013. 

      Rada gained worldwide popularity on a tour across Europe, the United States and Canada. She has recently performed at the Glastonbury Festival. She performed at the opening act of Alicia Keys' concert in Israel. Rada's music video "Life Happens" has been broadcast on MTV France, East Europe, and Israel, as well as on VH1 UK. Rada credits Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin as her musical influences, alongside Eryka Badu, Lauryn Hill and Jill Scott.







         Rada started her acting career in musical theater, and won an award for her role in Habima Theatre's The Troupe. In 2007 she played a major role in the TV serial "Deus". In the same year she also acted in Habima's play Sdakim bebeton. Filmography and TV Appearances: Still Walking Zrubavel Kirot The Special. Yes's series New York.



    In the end of 2012 Ester Rada released an EP entitled "Life Happens" with four of her songs. The album was positively received by critics, who describe her music as "cross-cultural sound that is a deep reflection of the Israeli born Ethiopian's heritage" and "graceful composition of Ethio-Jazz, funk, soul and r&b, with mixed undertones of black grooves"




1. Ester Rada - Life Happens (3:56)
2. Ester Rada - Monsters (4:53)
3. Ester Rada - Anything from you (4:52)
4. Ester Rada - Could it be (3:17)

         + BONUS TRACK   

5. Ester Rada - Life Happens (Shimi Sonic remix) (4:17)




Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Nazarenes - Rock Firm [2008] [ethiopia]



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       The Nazarenes sound is a fresh and vibrant blend of Roots-Reggae with an array of melodies and savvy arrangements that are complimented by haunting vocals. The music is both spiritual and inspirational and carries a much-needed message of love, hope, pride and respect for one another.






       Their debut album "Orit" was released in 2001 by Insteel Sounds and the much anticipated second album "SONGS OF LIFE"  was released in Europe (autumn  2004) by Heartbeat/Rounder Europe. The album is also released in USA & Canada (summer 2005) by Heartbeat label.  

     Their music is a unique and powerful addition to the ever expanding Diaspora of reggae music as well as a stunning tribute to the talent and dedication of this duo.  

       Since the release of, Orit, Nazarenes has built up a solid reputation throughout Europe and have consequently developed large and devoted followings of fans.  The duo is especially well known in Europe and their unique talent has also gained them recognition in England, Canada, U.S.A. and the world wide reggae scene.  After the release of their first album, Nazarenes have been touring and performing at many of the larger festivals in Europe, such as, Summer Jam (Germany), Roskilde festival (Denmark), Oslo world music festival (Norway), Rototom Sunsplash (Italy) and Uppsala reggae festival (Sweden), to name few. Their powerful stage presence and extraordinary musical arrangements has won them the title of being one of "The most excellent, hypnotic and unforgettable" live act of every festival and concert in which they perform.






        Growing up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in the mid 70´s among a large close-knit family, the two brother’s love of reggae distinguished them from their peers. Reggae was considered underground, not mainstream, and was not featured on the radio or played in the cafés and clubs that dotted the city.  Despite the scarcity and the lack of due promotion, the hypnotic rhythms and conscious message of the music engulfed the heart and soul of the entire Tewolde family. It was around this time that 12-year-old Medhane received his first guitar and began to scratch. The course of the Nazarenes was set.
       Over the years many precious experiences have been gained. In the 80´s, Medhane and Noah played with various bands in Europe (mainly Sweden and Germany) with Medhane on guitars and lead vocals and Noah on bass and back vocal.
       In the 90´s, Medhane teamed up with some well known Jamaican Reggae bands including Iqulah, Culture Knox and Mamma Booker (Bob Marley´s Mother!) for a European and African tour. 





       At this time, Noah took up lead singing and in 1992 he was discovered in Gothenburg, Sweden.  A solo record deal with Virgin Records followed along with the release of three singles, one of which became a big hit in Sweden. In 1994 Noah´s debut album was released through Virgin Records under the name Anbessa.
       In 1996, Medhane and Noah reunited their forces and engaged on a new venture, which encompassed their own style and vibe as well as their spiritual and conscious views of life. 
      The culmination of this partnership is the phenomenal Nazarenes, musical pioneers that are going forward to blaze a trail for a music that they have made their own. 







01 - Solid As A Rock 
02 - Same Shit 
03 - Don't Let Me Down 
04 - Roots 
05 - Let's Chill Down 
06 - Walking In The Rain 
07 - Crash Dem Wid Love 
08 - I Wanna Shout Loud 
09 - Your Time Is Up 
10 - Marvellous 
11 - Our World 
12 - We Stand Firm 
13 - Jungle


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mulatu Astatke - Mochilla presents timeless Mulatu Astatke [2010] [ethiopia]



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Mulatu Astatke - Timeless (Live)


       Ethiopian composer/arranger/vibraphonist Mulatu Astatke reached a lot of Western ears in the ‘90s when the fourth installment of the Ethiopiques series featured his work. That album presented innovative recordings from the ‘60s and ‘70s that fused jazz and Ethiopian sounds. Astatke got more exposure when some of his pieces were used in the soundtrack for Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers. 


       

       In 2009, Astatke and a fine group of American musicians performed at California State University, Los Angeles, and Timeless captures the concert. Featured players include woodwinds wizard Benny Maupin, former McCoy Tyner sideman Azar Lawrence on tenor sax, and trombonist and Tribe veteran Phil Ranelin. A number of younger players also make contributions, including keyboardist Brandon Coleman, violist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, and trumpeter Todd Simon, who displays a nice feel for Ethiopian scales. 


     Astatke’s vibraphone solos are always welcome, and if you had to pick a standout track it would be “Mulatu,” where the band finds a deep groove.






1. Mulatu Astatke - Yèkèrmo Sèw (7:32)
2. Mulatu Astatke - The Radcliffe (8:29)
3. Mulatu Astatke - I Faram Gami (7:45)
4. Mulatu Astatke - Yèkatit (7:15)
5. Mulatu Astatke - Kasaléfkut Hulu (8:05)
6. Mulatu Astatke - Mulatu (7:10)
7. Mulatu Astatke - Munayé (7:47)
8. Mulatu Astatke - Yègellé Tezeta (5:24)
9. Mulatu Astatke - Ebo Lala (6:31)





Bass Clarinet, Flute, Soprano Saxophone – Bennie Maupin
Drums – Tony Austin
Drums [Hand], Percussion – Munyungo Jackson
Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass – Trevor Ware
Electric Guitar – Dan Ubick
Electric Piano, Piano, Organ – Brandon Coleman
Percussion – Alan Lightner
Tenor Saxophone – Azar Lawrence
Trombone – Joel Yennior, Phil Ranelin
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Todd Simon
Viola – Miguel Atwood-Ferguson

Vibraphone, Percussion – Mulatu Astatke