Éthiopiques, Vol. 10: Ethiopian Blues & Ballads
The emotional power of the Ethiopian ballad style known as tezeta (Amharic for “memory” or “nostalgia”) is perfectly captured in this moody collection of Ethio-jazz and soul. Over haunting piano chords, pulsing bass, and subtle drum breaks, stars like Mahmoud Ahmed and Mulatu Astatke deliver their most melancholic performances from the ’70s glory years. You can feel the darkness lurking behind every note in Alemayehu Eshete’s spooky “Man Yehon Telleq Sèw,” while “Heywèté” is a showcase for Tesfa-Maryam Kidane’s longing, expressive sax leads.