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by Ian Patterson
Vibraphonist/composer Mulatu Astatke is the creator of Ethio-jazz and reputedly the first African musician to study at Berklee. Prior to that he had studied music in Wales and London. Whilst in America in the 1960s and early 1970s Astatke absorbed diverse influences and a dense rhythmic mosaic is a key component of this pulsating recording. Afro-Latin, jazz and funk vibes meet traditional Ethiopian roots music, with Astatke leading a stellar band of musicians from Ethiopia, London and Paris.read more
by Chris May
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 ...read more
by Chris May
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 ...read more