Mulatu Astatke - Mulatu Of Ethiopia
Pioneer and creator of Ethio Jazz, Mulatu Astatke left Ethiopia in the late 60s to study music at Berklee in Boston. He broadened his musical palette by picking up the technical aspects of jazz while being exposed to funk, soul and psychedelic rock. He began traveling to New York City where he met producer Gil Snapper. Snapper and Astatke hit it off and it led to a series of recordings for Snapper’s Worthy label, including his first 2 LPs with his Quintet, Afro-Latin Soul Vol.1 & 2.
Astatke blended jazz, Ethiopian scales, latin rhythms and an otherworldly organ sound to create a style all his own. This was what is known as Ethio Jazz and Mulatu of Ethiopiais ground zero for this new music. Originally released in 1972, the resultant LP shows Astatke contributing beautiful vibraphone with an airtight band that utilizes wah-wah guitar, funk and reverberating vibes for a sound that is both cosmic and groovy.
Strut’s new deluxe, 3LP edition represents the first official reissue of this landmark record (all previous LPs were bootlegs). It now includes both a stereo and mono mix plus a 3rd LP of session out-takes. All have been remastered from the original reel-to-reel tapes and the package also includes a new interview with Astatke.
Beautiful stuff and a much needed reissue for a true legend of African music. A Must own! (Dom)
Check out a track here.