Often considered the godfather of Ethio-jazz, Mulatu Astatke is having a banner year.
First he opened the Timeless Composer and Arranger series at the Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex on the campus of Cal State Los Angeles (with DJ sets by Egon, Quantic and Cut Chemist). Then he collaborated with the Heliocentrics to create the critically acclaimed Strut release Inspiration Information Vol. 3, and later this month the seminal label will release what some would consider an essential compilation of Astatke's work, New York-Addis-London, The Story of Ethio Jazz 1965-1975.
Those who are familiar with jazz will recognize his classic, and compilation opener, “Yekermo Sew”, but the Strut release takes us through his prime, including his personal favorite “Dewel” (claimed to have been written with Ellington's band in mind) and up through his 70s funk fusion work. 20 tracks of pure gold from a man with a rich and esteemed history.