January 24, 2017
Girma Beyene & Akale Wube | Ethiopiques 30: Mistakes On Purpose
TITLE: Ethiopiques 30: Mistakes On Purpose
LABEL: Buda Musique
Girma Beyene is one of the leading lights of Ethiopia’s Swinging Addis period of the 60s and 70s. As a singer, pianist, songwriter, arranger and bandleader, he contributed to dozens of the sides that today define the golden age of Ethiopian music. Beyene defected from the Derg dictatorship in 1981 when his Walias Band was touring the USA; unfortunately that move effectively ended his musical career. Until now, that is – French Ethio-revivalists Akale Wube invited him to join them for this recording session, and the results are astounding. In his heyday, Beyene was a master at integrating international pop with traditional Ethiopian modes; at an advanced age his voice is smaller but his sensibility is broader than ever. Start with track 13, the one that sounds most like Beyene circa 1969. Then move on to 2, 4 and 5: three of his early hits, each radically and creatively reimagined. 3, Beyene’s most famous instrumental composition, gets a rousing reading here; the extended 6 also shows off Akale Wube’s instrumental and arranging chops. 1 and 14, two diametrically opposed versions of the same song, are perfect bookends to this brilliant project.
TOP TRACKS: 1 2 3 4 5 6 13 14
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