Mekuria, Getatchew, The Ex, and Guests – “Moa Anbessa ” – [Terp Records]
Legendary Ethiopian saxophonist Getatchew Mekuria teams up with legendary Dutch band The Ex and some friends who join in on bass, clarinet, sax, trombone, and organ. The Ex were big fans of the albums he recorded in the 70’s (and you will be too if you check out the copy of Negus of Ethiopian Sax we have in International CD), and tracked him down in Addis Ababa. Some of the tracks were recorded in two days of studio work in April 2006. Others were recorded live in concert.
The relentless driving of The Ex fits perfectly with the horns, especially the featured sax of Mr. Mekuria, creating a sound that is part punk, part free jazz, and part war chant. According to the detailed liner notes, Mr. Mekuria had something of a breakthrough in his style when he started to transcribe a vocal war song style called sh??llela for his saxophone. Check out Tezalegn Yetentu (10) for an example. There is a lot going on but somehow it all hangs together perfectly. Or turn to Mr. Mekuria’s solo on Tezeta (8) for a more lyrical sound.
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