Hailu Mergia and the Walias, “Tche Belew”

Hailu-Mergia-and-the-Walias-Tche-BelewWhen Brian Shimkovitz reissued Hailu Mergia and His Classical Instrument on his Awesome Tapes From Africa label last year, the Ethiopian keyboard legend was driving a taxi in Washington, D.C., where he’d exiled himself during a mid-’80s tour. But Awesome’s reissue of his 1985 cassette revived Mergia’s career, and he’s gigging again with a new young band.

While Classical Instrument is a solo marvel of minimalist funk produced in the U.S., Tche Belew is a long-lost Ethiopian instrumental classic capturing Mergia and his longtime sextet — augmented by special guest Mulatu Astatke on vibes and percussion — in their prime. Read more at WonderingSound.com …

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