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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mulatu Astatke: Sketches of Ethiopia

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Sketches of Ethiopia is, extraordinarily, the first album Mulatu Astatke, the godfather of Ethio-jazz, has recorded with his own band for an international label of influence. It has been a long time coming and it is a corker.Astatke, on vibraphone and keyboards, is accompanied by his regular touring band, Step Ahead, which has at its core A-list British jazz musicians--among them, trumpeter Byron Wallen, drummer Tom Skinner, bassist John Edwards and reed player James Arden. Step Ahead's 12-piece line-up also includes players of traditional Ethiopian instruments including the masinko (one-string lute), krar (lyre) and washint (bamboo flute). In ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Mulatu Astatke: February 1, 2009

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Mulatu AstatkeFebruary 1, 2009Mochilla2010 For the first 40 years of his professional life, composer and vibraphonist Mulatu Astatke, the father of Ethio-jazz, remained practically unknown outside his own country. That changed in 2005, when his atmosphere-laden recordings were featured extensively on the soundtrack to the Jim Jarmusch-directed movie Broken Flowers. Since then, Astatke (sometimes spelt Astatqe), born in 1943, has become a celebrity in jazz and world music circles, and has even taken to performing internationally. If ever a musician has deserved his overdue period in the spotlight, it is this singular ...



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