Saturday, March 24, 2007
Music I Liked And Didn't - 3/20/07 - 3/24/07
Getatchew Mekuria And The Ex And Guests: Moa Anbessa CD (Terp Records) - Getatchew Mekuria (also spelled Mekurya on other releases) is a legendary Ethio-Jazz saxophonist. An overview of his work was presented on Volume 14 of the excellent Ethiopiques series. Now in his seventies, he is still quite active and continues to play his powerful, distinctive style of Ethio-Jazz saxophone.
In 2004, he was invited to come to the Netherlands by The Ex to play some dates with the long-running free-improv group, The Instant Composers Pool, whose members include such luminaries as Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink. These dates were such a success, that a new recording project was proposed. So, in 2006, he returned to the Netherlands and joined forces with The Ex and a guest horn section for a series of concerts and to record the material contained on “Moa Anbessa”.
I’m pleased to report that the results are fantastic! This release contains 11 fresh interpretations of Ethiopian tunes, 2 of which also appeared in a different form on his Ethiopiques CD. Mekuria is stellar throughout, delivering soulful melodies and agressive, free solos with equal skill. Backed with The Ex's rhythmic guitar riffs, dissonant noise treatments, and always challenging, conscious lyrics, they create a truly unique sound that merits repeated play. Brilliant!
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