CD Ethiopiques, Vol. 19: Alemye (CD 1241634),
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Ethiopiques, Vol. 19: Alemye

  • 1. Almy
    2. Wgni
    3. Etu Gla
    4. Eyw Demamu
    5. Ny Dnun Tessh
    6. Blaya Blaya
    7. Antchi Enn Weddjign
    8. Gubly
    9. Tezeta
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 860106

  • Credits

    Liner Note Author: Francis Falceto.
    Recording information: 1974.
    Editor: Francis Falceto.
    To western ears, Mahmoud Ahmed may not be a household word, but in his native Ethiopia, he has been a star since the 1970s. Fusing the traditional pentatonic scale of Amharic music with the flavors of western pop and jazz, he has crafted some of the strangest, most spine-tingling and ear-perking music the world has ever heard. ETHIOPIQUES VOL. 19: ALEMYE is a collection of his 1974 recordings for Ahma Records, a short-lived Ethiopian label whose output is impossibly rare. Recorded with his Ibex Band, the music is a fascinating blend of rural folk, urban pop, and jazz overtones. "Alemye" sets the tone, with a dark organ droning away as Ahmed sings of heartbreak, his quavering voice expressing the deepest despair. On the nearly dirge-like "Tezeta," a swirling psychedelic organ gives way to a funereal sax solo, as the young vocalist plumbs the depths of his sorrow. Showcasing Ahmed's impeccable multi-octave range, ALEMYE displays an artist at the height of his almost supernatural abilities.

  • Critic Reviews
    JazzTimes (p.88) - "Ahmed struts his acute rhythmic sensibilities - his knotty phrasing both mirroring the taut groove and providing it with ace counterpoint."
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