Ben Funkhouser’s recommendation: “Alemayehu Eshete is an artist that moves me. He is an Ethiopian singer and musician who began his career in the ’60s, and has recently played shows again in the US and Europe. His music is powerful and groovy at the same time, taking hints from Mulatu Astake’s ethio-jazz, James Brown’s funky swagger, and traditional Ethiopian sounds as well. The music is beautifully arranged, skilfully executed and totally dance-able.”
New to Alemayehu Eshete? Ben suggests you start here: “The album that I would recommend is Ethiopiques 22: More Vintage. It comes from the Ethiopiques series, of which there has never been a bad release and is distributed by Buda Musique Records.”
About our guest author, Ben Funkhouser and Herr Jazz: Ben is one half of Herr Jazz (the other half being Jake Goltiani) and hails from Olympia, Washington. At only 15, Ben began booking bands and formed Herr Jazz before he was out of high school. The music is a wonderful mix of punked up skate/surf music with splashes of world music thrown in for good measure. It sounds young, fresh and fun (I’ve been thinking of them as Vampire Weekend Jr.) and their music can be purchased through Masa Records.
MP3: Summer Skate by Herr Jazz