heavenly Sweetness

V/A - Ethiopian Modern Instrumental Hits LP

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This selection of jazz instrumentals from late '60s and early '70s Ethiopia represents a side to African music seldom heard in 'World Music' reissue circles. This music represents a hybridised approach to jazz, incorporating African, Latin and Arabic scales alongside the more psychedelic, beat group-informed music of the west. This no doubt has something to do with the presence of musicians like Mulatu Astatke, who trained in America. His piece 'Metche Dershe' is positively swinging, with a beat primed for sampling, but those unusual scales and that intelligent approach to composition elevate it far beyond the usual jazzy exotica.