Album: Mulatu Astatke, Sketches of Ethiopia (Jazz Village)

 

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The Independent Culture

Astatke’s 1970s back catalogue only gained worldwide recognition through the Ethiopiques compilations and songs featured in Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers.

Yet the 70-year-old composer and vibraphonist hasn’t rested on his laurels. Each track here is a distinctive entity which contributes to a cohesive funky whole. It’s impossible to pick a favourite but “Surma”, featuring Malian diva Fatoumata Diawara, is an assertively sensuous gem.

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