It’s been heartening over the past decade to see Mulatu Astatke achieve the the widespread acclaim that has long been his due.
The pianist, composer and arranger pretty much created ethio-jazz, fusing western elements with Latin and traditional Ethiopian music into a swinging, almost psychedelic brew that has won over generation after generation.
The legendary Ethiopiques compilations – beloved of Shackleton, among others – are totally bossed by Astatke (Volume 4 of the series is entirely dedicated to his music), but it was perhaps the use of his classic piece ‘Yegelle Tezeta’ in Jim Jarmusch’s 2005 movie Broken Flowers that really brought his singular sound to the attention of modern ears.
On March 29, Astatke releases a brand new album through Strut on March 29, entitled Mulatu Steps Ahead (more info here). To herald its release, here’s a chance to grab a free download of that aforementioned masterpiece ‘Yegelle Tezeta’. If you haven’t already, you need to hear it. Seriously.
Download: Mulatu Astatke – Yegelle Tezeta
(Available for seven days)