All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

5

AddisAbabaBand: Alive

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
One of the best things about the digital age is that music is so easily shared. Music from different worlds is just a click away on platforms where independent artists and labels sell and stream their music. Naturally, this also means that it becomes easier to exchange one musical perspective with another. However, even in these globalized times, it is a rarity to experience a Danish big band from Aarhus dedicated to the sounds of Ethiojazz and Afrobeat.

Many big bands, as good as they are, stick to a relatively conservative understanding of the big band format, which means that the experiments with genre often take place within an established jazz tradition. AddisAbabaBand, as the name reveals, has another starting point. Named after the capital of Ethiopia, the band acknowledges Ethiojazz maestro Mulatu Astatke as a primary influence and ventures into different journeys of funk on Alive, a live album that follows up on two previous releases: their self-titled debut and the single Rainbow Warrior / Laika Laika Interstellar .

The party starts immediately with a new track, "Space Pants." It introduces a solo guitar riff that is elaborated when another guitar enters. Punchy horns and percussion are added in a swirling dance with Simon Eskildsen's electric piano on top. Next, the band plays both sides from the single Rainbow Warrior / Laika Laika Interstellar . Especially the A-side, "Rainbow Warrior," is interesting. It is a cover of a composition by the Danish bassist and composer Jørgen Schmidt. Schmidt was one of the pioneers in the reggae-environment in Denmark and wrote "Rainbow Warrior" as a protest song against the bombing of the Green Peace ship Rainbow Warrior. In the AddisAbabaBand-version, the vocal is handled by percussionist Preben Kaels and he pushes the fusion of fiery funk and deep reggae rhythms forward with his voice ending in an ecstatic roar. The ecstasy is also built up on the track "Zion" with fabulous flute playing from guest star, Ali Diarra.

Another unusual track amid the feast of funk is the band's "Koklokkkemanifest" (the Cowbell Manifesto). It is read in Danish and is a description of the virtues of the cowbell where it is underlined that:

"it should always be played with an open and attentive approach to the world. Only in this way, it can become a manifestation of the interconnection of everything."

The cowbell manifesto could be translated as AddisAbabaBand's approach to funk. Those looking for a pure version of Afrobeat or Ethiojazz will probably be disappointed. However, for those who recognize funk as a world language where Mulatu Astatke, Fela Kuti and James Brown can engage in musical conversation with a group of admirers from Denmark, AddisAbabaBand is a powerful reminder of the ability of music to cross geographical boundaries all the way from Aarhus to Addis Ababa.

Track Listing: Space Pants; Laika Laika Interstellar; Rainbow War; White Man; Zion; Koklokkemanifest; Mass Confusion.

Personnel: Martin Madsen: drums; Jens Peter Møller: bass; Jesper Rasmussen: guitar; Mikkel Govertz: guitar; Simon Eskildsen: keys; Feike van der Woude: percussion; Christian Dietrichsen: percussion; Preben Kaels: percussion, vocals; Olaf Brinch: tenor saxophone; Marco Dania: tenor saxophone; Lasse Enøe: baritone saxophone; Scott Westh: trumpet; Benjamin Himpel: soprano saxophone (#5); Ali Diarra: flute (#5).

Title: Alive | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
  • Alive by Jakob Baekgaard
Read more articles
Alive

Alive

Self Produced
2018

buy

Related Articles

Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Super Mood CD/LP/Track Review
Super Mood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Beheaded Totem CD/LP/Track Review
Beheaded Totem
by James Fleming
Published: September 24, 2018
Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "Deuce" CD/LP/Track Review Deuce
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 2, 2018
Read "Asteroidea" CD/LP/Track Review Asteroidea
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 9, 2017
Read "Tall Tales And Alibis" CD/LP/Track Review Tall Tales And Alibis
by Doug Collette
Published: March 11, 2018
Read "The Groove Hunter" CD/LP/Track Review The Groove Hunter
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: June 27, 2018
Read "James Weldon Johnson: God's Trombones" CD/LP/Track Review James Weldon Johnson: God's Trombones
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 1, 2018
Read "This City" CD/LP/Track Review This City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 24, 2018