Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ethiopiques Volume 10 – Tezeta: Ethiopian Blues & Ballads

Excellent stuff – even if this volume isn't as funky as other numbers in the Ethiopiques series! Instead, the tracks are soulful and bluesy numbers – half vocal, half instrumental tunes, with a really dark approach, and backings that are spare and extremely haunting. The vocalists are amazing – with a wailing crying tone that really sets the mood of the CD – and the instrumentalists follow suit with moody solo work on guitar and tenor sax. Titles include "Eyetegnu Negu" by Frew Haylou, "Hedetch Alu" by Mulequen Mellesse, "Tezeta" by Mahmoud Ahmed, "Tezeta" by Menelik Wesnatchew, "Gubelye" by Mulatu Astatqe, and "Alteleyeshegnem" by Alemayehu Eshete. © 1996-2010, Dusty Groove America, Inc.

01 Frew Haylou - Eyetegnu Nequ - Frew Haylou
02 Hedetch Alu - Muluqen Mellesse
03 Teredtchewalehu - Alemayehu Eshete
04 Heywete - Tesfa-Maryam Kidane
05 Tezeta - Seyfou Yohannes
06 Alteleyeshegnem - Alemayehu Eshete
07 Gubelye - Mulatu Astatqe
08 Tezeta - Mahmoud Ahmed
09 Man Yehon Telleq Sew - Alemayehu Eshete
10 Tezeta - Tesfa-Maryam Kidane
11 Tezeta - Menelik Wesnatchew
12 Tezeta Slow - Getatchew Kassa
13 Tezeta Slow - Getatchew Kassa

Éthiopiques Vol. 9 - Alèmayèhu Eshèté

Alemayehu Eshete is an Ethiopian Ethio-jazz singer active since the 1960s who primarily sings in Amharic. Eshete's talent was recognized by colonel Rètta Dèmèqè who invited the young singer to perform with Addis Ababa's famous Police Orchestra. Eshete had his first hit ("Seul") in 1961 before moving on to found the orchestra Alèm-Girma Band with Girma Bèyènè. Over the course of 15 years, Eshete released some 30 singles until the arrival of the communist Derg junta, which forced Eshete and many other artists into exile.

Alemayehu Eshete has since gained fame in Europe and the Americas with the release of Buda Musique's Ethiopiques series of compilations on compact disc. Ethiopiques Volume 9 is devoted entirely to recordings of Eshete's earlier music, and Volume 22 covers his career between 1972 and 1974. Other songs have also appeared on Volumes 3, 8, 10, and 13 or the series. In 2008 Eshete toured the United States with fellow Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed, backed by Boston's 10-piece Either/Orchestra.

01. Addis Abeba Bete
02. Yeweyn Haregitu
03. Qondjit
04. Yelben Betayiw
05. Yesew Bet Yesew New
06. Mekeyershin Salawq
07. Qotchegn Messassate
08. Eruq Yaleshew
09. Shegitu Mare
10. Yeweb Dar
11. Telantena Zare
12. Memar Memeramer
13. Tedesteshal Wey?
14. Denyew Deneba
15. Temhert Bete
16. Nefas Indaygeban
17. Leb Tatefaletch
18. Feqer Feqer New
19. Gizew Honeshenna
20. Heywete Abatey New
21. Ya Tara
22. Timarkyalesh

Ethiopiques, Vol. 8: Swinging Addis

With ties--most of them clearly nonbinding--to the sanctioned musical institutions of Ethiopia in the 1960s (police bands and the like), the singers and players on the Ethiopiques series of reissues were in a funky bind. They had pledged some allegiance to Emperor Haile Selassie I and his imperial declarations, but their muses picked up distant signals from North America, including jazz's horn charts, funk's on-the-one rhythms, and an overriding sense of urgency in music made by youth. Here's volume 8 of the Ethiopiques series, testimony in 70-plus minutes to the winning power of the youth culture's music. With the series' most unabashed nod to James Brown in Alèmayèhu Eshèté's six tracks, volume 8 goes further than its predecessors in documenting a jazzy, soulful, electric-keyboard-fueled scene that simply ignores conventional musical borders. Eshèté's vocals bark and then soar over the webbed rhythms with all the force of Brown's--and an additionally rich range of guitars and keyboards that race around and through each other like polyrhythmic drums. What volume 8 shows is that the impact of soul, jazz, and funk (try Lèmma Dèmissew on for size) provided so much quiltwork to be syncopated together in these hip, danceable tunes. Listening to Samuel Bèlay's band kick the horns over an artfully hanging-back rhythmic tide, it's hard to imagine that a musical culture this rich could be stymied by the late 1970s--just a few years after Selassie's regime was crushed. --Andrew Bartlett

Ethiopiques Volume 8: Swinging Addis

01.Ene Negn Bay Manesh - Girma Beyene
02.Mar Teb Yelal Kafesh
03.Hasabe - Ayalew Mesfin
04.Tchero Adari Negn - Alemayehu Eschete
05.Betchayen Tegodahu - Alemayehu Eschete
06.Tessassategn Eko - Bahta Gebre-Heywet
07.Gizie - Bahta Gebre-Heywet
08.Astawesalehu - Lemma Demissew
09.Adrashash Tefabegn - Lemma Demissew
10.Lezelalem Nuri - Lemma Demissew
11.Yetesfa Tezeta - Tesfa-Maryam Kidane
12.Aynotchesh Yerefu - Samuel Belay
13.Qeresh Endewaza - Samuel Belay
14.Set Alamenem - Girma Beyene
15.Yebeqagnal - Girma Beyene
16.Enken Yelelebesh - Girma Beyene
17.Betchayen Tekezie - Getatchew Kassa
18.Afer Yemegneshal - Alemayehu Eschete
19.Eskegizew Bertchi - Alemayehu Eschete
20.Ayalqem Tedengo - Alemayehu Eschete
21.Honey Baby - Alemayehu Eschete