Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Either/Orchestra: Ethiopiques 20: Live In Addis

181

Either/Orchestra: Ethiopiques 20: Live In Addis

By

Sign in to view read count
Either/Orchestra: Ethiopiques 20: Live In Addis
A horn lover's paradise exists and it is Addis Ababa. At least, the Ethiopian capital was for one night in January 2004, when the American Either/Orchestra, a proponent of "Ethio-jazz, played a rousing concert at the city's third annual music festival.

The fortunate result of that night, the two-CD Live in Addis, is the 20th volume of Ethiopiques, a series of albums on Buda Musique dedicated to preserving and promoting Ethiopia's rich musical heritage. The music on Live in Addis is so energizing and beautiful that by the end of the second disc, you only want to hear more.

Tenor and soprano saxophonist Russ Gershon, E/O's leader, writes in his articulate and entertaining liner notes, "hovering over [the visit] was the question of how Ethiopians would respond to a group of Americans taking extreme liberties with their inheritance.

The answer can only be exuberantly. The ten-piece E/O (saxophones, trombone, trumpets, flute, and rhythm section) interprets Ethiopian numbers with colorful, winding horn arrangements and driving percussion, to which the audience responds with immense enthusiasm. Elder statesmen of Ethiopian music join in, including Mulatu Astatké (whose classic compositions anchored the soundtrack of Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers this summer), saxophonist Gétatchèw Mèkurya, and singer Bahta Gèbrè-Heywèt, whose vocals guide the sinuous Middle Eastern melody of "Antchim endèléla, one of the set's most appealing numbers.

Other highlights include "Eyèyè, a folk tune arranged for horns and flute with an elegiac, almost funereal mood, and the traditional "Bati, a minor-key, atmospheric ballad plaintively sung by Tsèdènia Gèbrè-Marqos.

If there's one shortcoming to Live in Addis, it's the slightly sub-par recording quality—one would love to hear the album's arrangements and soloists as crisply as possible. But that's a minor quibble in the face of two discs full of such exciting music.

Track Listing

CD 1: Amlak Ab

Personnel

Either/Orchestra
band / ensemble / orchestra

Russ Gershon: tenor and soprano saxophone; Jeremy Udden: alto saxophone; Henry Cook: baritone saxophone, flute; Joel Yennior: trombone; Tom Halter: trumpet; Colin Fisher: trumpet: Greg Burk: piano, Fender Rhodes; Rick McLaughlin: bass; Harvey B. Wirht: drums; Vicente Lebron: congas, percussion. With Mulatu Astotq

Album information

Title: Ethiopiques 20: Live In Addis | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Buda Musique

Comments


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Local Businesses | More...

More

Skyllumina
Ruth Goller
Wonderful!
Mike LeDonne
Heart Mind and Soul
Randy Bernsen
Tidal Currents: East Meets West
Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.