Blogtrotters

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




Sunday, April 16, 2017

Aster Aweke - Kabu [1989] [ethiopia]





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       This Ethiopian beauty's Aster and Kabu albums show why she’s sometimes been dubbed the “African Aretha Franklin.”





                                                     

Aster Aweke - Tchewata






        There’s no mistaking Aster Aweke’s primary influences. Listen, for example, to her early ’90s albums Aster and Kabu, with their Memphis-style horn section, soulful keyboards and crackling drums, and it’s immediately apparent why she’s sometimes been dubbed the “African Aretha Franklin.” Lady Soul, along with the Godfather, James Brown, and vocally versatile jazz singers such as Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, loom largely in her roots, her deep R&B/funk groove a reminder that bridges are meant to be crossed. Aweke doesn’t leave the traditional behind by any means; she respects it, she draws from it, but she’s never beholden to it.


       And then there’s that voice, as supple and mystifying an instrument as has ever been. Simultaneously tamed and wild, its flights of fancy are wondrous things. You can’t help but be awed.

      Aweke was born in Gondar, Ethiopia, some time between the late ’50s and 1961, depending on which account you believe. She grew up in the capital city of Addis Ababa and began singing as a teen, working with several groups, most notably the Roha Band. As Ethiopia entered a period of unrest following the death of iconic leader Haile Selassie, Aweke left for the United States. She became increasingly popular within the Ethiopian community in the States, performing in restaurants and clubs, particularly in her adopted home of Washington, D.C., one of the largest Ethiopian expat communities in the country.












    Aweke signed to the small Triple Earth label in 1989, and the two aforementioned albums were then picked up by Columbia Records, which had high hopes for her commercial potential in the West. The sales didn’t pan out but Aweke has continued to record and tour—her 1995 Live In London CD is an excellent primer that displays her charismatic appeal to the fullest.




Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dallol - Land Of The Genesis [1985] [usa+eth]













Dallol - Reggae In The Moonlight




              After fleeing their homeland of Ethiopia in the late ’70s to avoid conflict with the Marxist government, a trio of reggae musicians made their way to the United States.
         Landing in Chicago, the three musicians began playing their African and Jamaican-flavored jams in reggae clubs around the city.
Fronted by singer/guitarist Mulu Gessesse, the band consisted of Mulu’s brother Zeleke Gessesse and close friend Meluka Retts.

           In 1980, the band assumed the name Dallol, and put together a demo tape. Dallol gained a sizable following in Chicago quickly with its distinct Ethiopian-flavored sound. The demo soon found its way all over the country, outside of the United States, across the Caribbean and into the hands of a certain famous family in Jamaica.

           “It was 1981, right after Bob (Marley) died,” Mulu recalled. “Our tape made its way to Rita (Marley), and she asked us to go on down to Jamaica. That was our first contact with the Marleys.”










    
           Contacts with the first family of reggae proved to be a good thing for Dallol. Rita Marley produced the band’s first full-length album and helped the band out in a number of ways. Lodging and other commodities were provided to Dallol by the Marleys as the band made its tour of the islands.

         It wasn’t long before the Marleys became more than contacts, with friendships forming between Dallol and Bob’s son, Ziggy Marley. “Ziggy was only 10 years old when we met him,” Mulu explained. “As a matter of fact, he played his first show with us.”

          Good ties with the Marleys continued, and soon Dallol was asked to tour with Ziggy’s newly formed band “Ziggy and the Melody Makers.” Dallol’s Ethiopian and reggae roots served as a perfect backdrop to Ziggy’s continuation of his father’s style and heartfelt messages.

         In the late ’80s, Dallol toured and recorded with Ziggy. The result of the combined effort was heard worldwide. One platinum and one gold album elevated Dallol to superstar status in the reggae industry.
“That experience was great because it enabled us to go all over the world,” Mulu said.

       After about five years with Marley, Dallol returned to its second home in Chicago. Included in the move were a couple line change ups and a change of name for the group. Upon the addition of three more members, including two female vocalists, Dallol changed its name to Baaro.




Zeleke GessesseBass, Vocals
Ruphael Wolde MariamDrums, Vocals, Cover
Dereje MekonnenKeyboards
Mulaku RettaKeyboards, Vocals
Abdul HakimLead Guitar
Asrat Aemro SellasiePercussion
Mulugetta GessesseRhythm Guitar

Executive-Producer – Rita Marley






A1Dallol - Selam (4:48)
A2Dallol - Genesis (4:16)
A3Dallol - Love Is Coming (4:16)
A4Dallol - Reggae In The Moonlight (4:40)

B1Dallol - Hoye Hoya (3:20)
B2Dallol - Sail Along (5:07)
B3Dallol - Nice Feelings (3:50)
B4Dallol - Ashkaroo (traditional song) (3:40)
B5Dallol - Mr. DJ (4:50)




Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Dub Colossus - Dub Will Tear Us Apart [2010] [ethiopia]



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    In 2006 Nick 'Dubulah' Page, British producer, multi-instrumentalist and founding member of Transglobal Underground and Syriana, first travelled to Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. His aim was to collaborate with musicians and explore traditional Azmari styles, 60s Ethiopian pop, Ethiojazz and 70s Jamaican Dub Reggae. He came across some amazingly talented artists – female vocalists Tsedenia Gebremarkos and Sintayehu 'Mimi' Zenebe, Ethiojazz pianist Samuel Yirga, tenor sax player Feleke Hailu and Teremage Woretaw on messenqo (one-string fiddle) and vocals. 










       Dub Colossus was born. The first recordings were exclusively previewed on Society of Sound. Then followed the critically acclaimed debut album 'A Town Called Addis,' (2008) and a series of outstanding live shows.











        Especially for Society of Sound, the band have put together ‘Dub Will Tear Us Apart’, featuring ten brand new tracks fresh from studio sessions in Real World, Edinburgh and Addis Ababa. Highlights include Dub Colossus’ Anglo-Ethiopian version of the reggae classic, “Uptown Top Ranking”, written and originally performed by Jamaican girl duo Althea & Donna, which topped the UK singles chart in 1978. "It had a big effect on me," explains Nick Page, "seeing it on Top Of The Pops… it was a first in many ways." 

       The connection between Ethiopia and Jamaica has been well documented, especially with regards to the lyrical content of a lot of Jamaican Roots Reggae music. Dub Colossus’ dread Abesha version is fronted by Sintayehu and Tsedenia, with UK/Jamaican guest MC JP Higgins. 




      



     Other highlights include "Guragignia", a ferociously funky Ethiopian song which sounds like a blue taxi going at full speed with no brakes during rush hour in Addis Ababa. A live show favourite, it features lead vocals by Sintayehu. "Selemi" is another live favourite, an Ethio-Funk stomper fronted by Tsedenia supported by the keyboards of Samuel Yirga and saxes of Feleke Hailu, that morphs into a southern Ethiopian rhythm of release. In contrast, "Medina" is a Teremage Woretaw traditional solo track, for voice and messenqo. A gospel song performed to mark a period of fasting, Teremage sings in growling wild swoops as he bows his messenqo with an intense energy. 









        Dub Will Tear Us Apart features members of the current live band for the first time: drummer Nick Van Gelder (ex Jamiroquai, Brand New Heavies), bass player Dr Das (ex Asian Dub Foundation), vocalist PJ Higgins (Natacha Atlas, Almamegretta, Kenneth Bager), as well as the wonderful Horns of Negus, who recently worked with Dr John, Dizzee Rascal, The Streets, consisting of Ben Somers (tenor and baritone sax), Robert Dowell (trombone) and Jonathan Radford (trumpet).






01. Dub Colossus - Dub Will Tear Us Apart (6:41)
02. Dub Colossus - Wey Fikir (4:21)
03. Dub Colossus - Yeh Shimbraw Tir Tir (4:21)
04. Dub Colossus - Dub Me Tender (4:23)
05. Dub Colossus - Satta Massagans (inst version) (3:43)
06. Dub Colossus - Kuratu (5:09)
07. Dub Colossus - Uptown Top Ranking (5:03)
08. Dub Colossus - Guragigna (5:13)
09. Dub Colossus - Medina (3:07)
10. Dub Colossus - Selemi (6:42)




Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Anbessa Orchestra - [2015] - Anbessa Orchestra [EP] [usa+eth]











       Anbessa Orchestra is a 7 piece group from NYC that draws it's inspiration from the beautiful music of Ethiopia. Playing arrangements of Ethiopian funk tunes from the 60's-70's as well as original music with Ethiopian influences.



Wayne Tucker - Trumpet
Eyal Vilner - Alto Sax
Eden Bareket - Baritone Sax
Nadav Peled - Guitar
Dor Heled - Keyboards
Tamir Shmerling - Bass
Eran Fink - Drums











Anbessa Orchestra - 01 - Aynotche Terabu (4:40)
Anbessa Orchestra - 02 - Yematibela Wef (5:20)
Anbessa Orchestra - 03 - Lions  (4:51)
Anbessa Orchestra - 04 - Nagatti Si Jedha (4:19)
Anbessa Orchestra - 05 - Le'b (6:08)
Anbessa Orchestra - 06 - Zelel Zelel (3:20)
Anbessa Orchestra - 07 - Antchi Qondjo (3:17)
Anbessa Orchestra - 08 - Gurage (8:34)


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Elias Negash - Jazzed Up [2012] [ethiopia]








       Elias Negash is an accomplished musician who has combined his Native Ethiopian music with his jazz education, and influences from the world music segment. He played through the seventies and became one of the pioneering figures to have brought Reggae and African music to the Bay Area with smash hit groups including Obeah, Axum, Caribbean All Stars and the Rastafarians

      After moving to Los Angeles Elias worked on the Royal Princess Cruise ship out of South Hampton England for four months. He has also done soundtrack for Television Movie in titled Glitz and also preformed on a TV series Murder She Wrote. Elias has also traveled as a Solo pianist and with Magyk Band to Japan.




Elias Negash - Belew Bedubaye



In addition to his role as a musician, Elias dedicates his time in multiple humanitarian efforts such as fundraising HIV Aids research and treatment, building schools and water-well in the rural areas of Ethiopia. Further, Elias is currently the president of Ethiopian Arts forum that strives to accomplish its objectives through the presentation of Ethiopian Music, Dance, Poetry, Drama and Visual Arts to the community.

Elias has put out five solo CDs titled Love, Harrambe (lets pull together), Peace, Feel Like Dancin’ and his new CD titled “JAZZED UP”



01 - Elias Negash - Perfect Ten (6:02)
02 - Elias Negash - I Lied to You (7:10)
03 - Elias Negash - Sway (8:29)
04 - Elias Negash - Antchim Endelela (5:26)
05 - Elias Negash - Memories Overwhelmed Him (4:52)
06 - Elias Negash - I Dare You (5:39)
07 - Elias Negash - No Women No Cry (6:15)
08 - Elias Negash - Tizeta Garedew (5:01)
09 - Elias Negash - Crazy (4:32)
10 - Elias Negash - Our Love Is Here to Stay (7:20)
11 - Elias Negash - Harlem Nocturne (5:34)
12 - Elias Negash - Elias Salsa (4:54)
13 - Elias Negash - Addis Ababa Bete (7:44)



Monday, December 29, 2014

v.a. - new ethio grooves [2014] [ethiopia]






Warm regards to all the readers of my blog. 


Regular followers have probably noticed that the usual Christmas present is late this year, but it does not mean that it will not arrive.


And here it is !



It is only fitting that we end the year with a short overview.This time, it is a compilation of the recent work of the bands whose music is influenced by the Ethiopian sound.


I am not going to bore you a lot. You have come to know most of the authors form this compilation through the posts on my blog, but there is something completely new as well. You will find out for yourself what it is. 


I wish you lots of health, happiness and love in the new year. And lots of interesting music, of course. 

B.



   cd 1  


01 - Nadav Haber - Nanu Nanu Jazz (6:13)
02 - Elias Negash - My Eyes Are Hungry (6:55)
03 - New Constellations - Rift Valley (4:51)
04 - Ethioda - Araray (5:09)
05 - Akalé Wubé - Kidus à cent dix (5:17)
06 - Akalé Wubé - Gab's Trap (4:00)
07 - Imperial Tiger Orchestra - Che Belew (4:02)
08 - Arat Kilo - Ankober Hotel (3:42)
09 - Les Frères Smith - Yègellé Tezeta (My Own Memory) (4:58)




   cd 2  


01 - KAZANCHIS +1 - Bilemo Bilee (6:00)
02 - KAZANCHIS +1 - Agerwa Wasa Magana (5:36)
03 - KAZANCHIS +1 - Astawusalehu (5:34)
04 - Feedel Band - Girl from Ethiopia (7:35)
05 - Feedel Band - Arayas Mood (8:24)
06 - Black Flower - Upwards (4:58)
07 - The Shaolin Afronauts - Abyssinian Suite, Pt. 1 (5:28)
08 - The Shaolin Afronauts - Abyssinian Suite, Pt. 2 (5:07)
09 - The Shaolin Afronauts - Abyssinian Suite, Pt. 3 (3:44)





Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - [1977] - Abaro Geday [ethiopia]




Tilahun Gessesse - Fesum Yelesh Acha






        Tilahun Gessesse was born on 29 September 1940, in Addis Ababa and died on 19 April 2009.

    Tilahun was born to Woizero Gete Gurmu and Ato Gessesse Negussee. When he was fourteen years old, he was taken by his grandfather to Waliso Oromia where he began attending Ras Gobena Elementary School.

       As time went by, his interest in music became increasingly clear, although his grandfather urged him to concentrate on his academic studies. The Ras Gobena School Principal Mr. Shedad (who was from Sudan), encouraged Tilahun's interest in music and urged him to go to Sudan to pursue his music career. Although Tilahun did not go to Sudan, he took Mr. Shedad's advice very seriously. When Woizro Negatwa Kelkai, Ato Eyoel Yohanes and others artists from the Hager Fikir Theatre came to his school to perform, Tilahun took the opportunity to discuss his interest in music with Ato Eyoel. He was told to go to Addis Ababa if he wanted to pursue a career in the field.

       Tilahun left school to go to Addis Ababa, a journey he began on foot without his grandfather's consent. When his grandfather realized that Tilahun was no longer in Woliso, he informed Tilahun's great-aunt in Tulu Bolo. After Tilahun traveled fifteen kilometers on foot, he was caught in Tulu Bolo and stayed overnight with his great-aunt Woizero Temene Bantu. The next day, he was forced to return back to his grandfather in Woliso. Since his interest in music lay deep in his heart, Gessesse chose not to stay at his grandfather's house in Woliso. After staying only one night at his grandfather’s house, he again began his journey to Addis Ababa, this time hiding himself in the back of a loaded truck.

       Ethiopian News - Tilahun GessesseIn Addis Ababa, Tilahun was first hired by the Hager Fikir Association, which is now known as Hager Fikir Theater. After a few years at the Hager Fikir Theater, he joined the Imperial Bodyguard Band where he became a leading star singer. During his time with the band, Gessesse ran afoul of the government after the attempted coup d'état of December 1960 by the Imperial Bodyguard. He was arrested and put in prison for a time.

      Tilahun moved to the National Theater where his success continued. He was so famous that he appeared three times in front of Emperor Haile Selassie I. During a visit, the Emperor advised him not to abuse his talent.

        Tilahun's recordings are in Amharic and Oromo.

    He received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Addis Ababa University, in appreciation of his contribution to Ethiopian music. He has also received an award for his lifetime achievements from the Ethiopian Fine Art and Mass Media Prize Trust.

       Tilahun Gessesse died on April 19, 2009. He had been in poor health for several years due to diabetes.





01 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Abarro Gedaye (6:29)
02 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Yeqolegna Lidj Nat (4:30)
03 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Akam Neguma (6:54)
04 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Bewodish New Enne (5:46)
05 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Metenegna Lidj Nat (5:31)
06 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Yetelash Yitla (9:09)
07 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Ye Fiqir Sebago (5:53)
09 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Tsegereda (5:25)
10 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Fiqerey Wey Yalantchi (5:48)