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ARTICLE: MIXCLOUD

Destination Africa! Part II: Benin, Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, Zimbabwe

Read "Destination Africa! Part II: Benin, Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, Zimbabwe" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

As we continue our exploration of jazz by African musicians and by foreign musicians fascinated with the African continent and its music, this week we focus on Benin, Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal & Zimbabwe.

Happy Listening!

Playlist Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" from Mondo Jazz ...

Hailu Mergia: Lala Belu

Read "Lala Belu" reviewed by Chris May

Mulatu Astatke is by a long chalk the most widely known exponent of Ethio-Jazz. Propelled on to the world stage by the soundtrack of Jim Jarmusch's 2005 movie, Broken Flowers, and subsequently picked up by record labels and festival bookers in Europe and the US, Astatke deserves all the acclaim that comes his way. But, curiously, ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hailu Mergia: Lala Belu

Read "Lala Belu" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

Sometimes a story comes full circle in the most unexpected way. Ethiopian keyboard and accordion maestro, Hailu Mergia, has enjoyed a well-deserved renaissance with the reissues of his classic albums on Brian Shimkovitz' label Awesome Tapes from Africa: Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument: Shemonmuanaye, Tche Belew and Wede Harer Guzo.

However, Mergia ...

ARTICLE: BEST OF / YEAR END

Jakob Baekgaard's Best Releases Of 2016

Read "Jakob Baekgaard's Best Releases Of 2016" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

The world seems more uncertain than ever before, but in times of uncertainty, music provides comfort and a hope that it is actually possible to communicate across borders, whether they be physical or psychological.

Among the releases that caught my attention this year, the one that meant most to me by far is ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Stockholm Jazz Festival 2016

Read "Stockholm Jazz Festival 2016" reviewed by John Ephland

Stockholm Jazz Festival
Stockholm, Sweden
October 7-16, 2016

This year's autumnal Stockholm Jazz Festival continued their tilt toward world and improvisational music in the context of a jazz festival. That said, there was an ample supply of shows to go see and hear where “jazz" was preeminent. Programming world ...

Hailu Mergia: Wede Harer Guzo

Read "Wede Harer Guzo" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

It is not long ago that Brian Shimkovitz could celebrate the 10 year anniversary of his blog, Awesome Tapes from Africa, where he has posted a steady stream of obscure, but beguiling records with eclectic African music originally released on cassette. The blog quickly grew into becoming a favorite of listeners around the world, and in ...

ARTICLE: BEST OF / YEAR END

Jakob Baekgaard's Best Releases of 2014

Read "Jakob Baekgaard's Best Releases of 2014" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

2014 proved to be another fruitful year for jazz. The artists on this list represent many different musical directions, but that is the wonder of jazz. It is so many things and the world would indeed be poorer if the idiom was restricted to one particular sound. These artists all have a fresh approach to the ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hailu Mergia and The Walias: Tche Belew

Read "Tche Belew" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

There is a musical moment of great significance in Jim Jarmusch's road movie Broken Flowers. The main character, Don, is going on a journey and has received a cassette with music. When he puts the cassette into the tape deck, the strange, deep and funky sounds of Ethiopian master Mulatu Astatke emerge from the speakers. Music ...