[ | | | 3 interested person(s) ]

In November of last year, Mulatu recorded an new album with London psych jazz band, The Heliocentrics one of my favorite records of this year. Now, Strut ais releasing a definitive Mulatu career retrospective covering his landmark ‘60s and ‘70s recordings.

Mulatu is a true pioneer of African music. He was the first Ethiopian musician of his generation to travel extensively and to record abroad. He studied in the UK in Wales and at Trinity College Of Music in London, making a name for himself on the London jazz scene of the early ‘60s. He became the first African student to attend Harvard and he lived and recorded in New York, fusing jazz with traditional Ethiopian melodies. He returned to "Swinging Addis" during the late ’60s and became a pivotal figure, arranging for many of the country’s top vocalists and he continued to create music even in final years of Selassie’s reign and the mid-‘70s rule of the Derg Communist military junta. Mulatu worked with with many influential jazz artists such as Duke Ellington during this period.

The record gives great breadth to a novice like myself it traces the progression of his Ethio jazz experiments, Mulatu Astatke: New York-Addis-London is the really fantastic. It covers his first recordings in the UK during 1965, his fusions for the small Worthy label in NYC and his key ‘70s recordings back in Addis on Amha, Phillips and Axum, the album features comprehensive sleeve notes by Miles Cleret, head of Soundway Records, and rare, previously unseen photos from Mulatu’s personal archive. Certainly worth checking out for those that love his music.

Buy: The record is out October 27th on Strut. Get it here.

3 interested person(s)

Anonymous said... @ 10/12/2009 08:12:00 PM

Man, as much as I know the jazz world, there's always something that has yet to be discovered. Up until reading this blog, I literally had no idea how well-impacted jazz was and is in Africa, let alone South Africa. Reading this has defintiely sparked my interest further in African jazz musicians. I will check it out. Thank you for posting this!

Sandeep said... @ 10/13/2009 12:03:00 AM

I am so excited for this release...

Matt said... @ 10/13/2009 07:54:00 PM

I have recently been turned on to his music and can't believe how I've lived without it for so many years!

It's one the few artists I can put on at work and have everyone love it. (and even a co-worker is a Swedish Death Metal fan!)

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