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Ethiopiques 4 [Import]

Ethiopiques (Buda Series), Mulatu AstatqeAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

Price: $16.66 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 14 Songs, 2004 $7.99  
Audio CD, Import, 1998 $19.58  
Audio CD, Import, 1998 $16.66  

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Frequently Bought Together

Ethiopiques 4 + Golden Years Of Ethiopian Music + Ethiopiques, Vol. 3: Golden Years Of Modern Ethiopian Music
Price for all three: $56.52

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 6, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Buda Musique
  • ASIN: B00000DDMB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,593 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Largely the work of formidable musician-arranger Mulatu Astatqe, the 14 instrumentals here were originally issued on two LPs in 1972 and 1974 in Ethiopia, and represent a curious blend of soul-jazz and R&B with just a smattering of Ethiopian roots breaking up the stabbing horn lines, wah-wah guitars, and simmering electric piano. Curious, because at the time jazz was not very popular in Ethiopia, but that is no reflection on the quality of these primitively recorded sides of idiosyncratic Afro-funk. The grooves are long and laconic, the sound reminiscent of Miles Davis's "In a Silent Way" paired with Cannonball Adderly and Roy Ayers. But, as with all things Ethiopian, the music retains its own unique and unmistakable identity, one somewhere between a late-night jazz hole-in-the-wall group and a supper club belly-dancing combo. There are some very inventive arrangements and vigorous soloing, rendering a highly articulate and listenable music that was, at the time, doomed to go nowhere. Such is the retrospective value of reissues. --Derek Rath

Product Description

Featuring Mulatu Astatqé, as heard in Jim Jarmusch's new movie Broken Flowers.

An album of instrumentals, Ethiopiques 4 is a case study in the inventive blending of the influences that comprised the Ethiopian groove. Strains of funk and reggae permeate the thick, chunky bass lines, multiple saxophones swirl with the hypnotic, sounds of the East, and resonating with jazzy tones reminiscent of John Coltrane and Lester Young.


In the Ethiopian musical world, Mulatu Astaqé (ou Astake) is atypical and unique. For 30 years he has been an inescapable presence, a virtual statue casting a long shadow over the Ethiopian scene.The singularity of this musician- arranger-composer-innovator-melder of influences-organiser resides in his efforts in favour of instrumental music in a country where musical culture and tradition are strangers to it.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ethiopiques 4--Best of series I've heard September 16, 2004
By jqr
Format:Audio CD
This is the first of the Ethiopiques series I bought and it still stands up, five years later, as my favorite. After losing my original copy last year I finally managed to borrow it from the Brooklyn Public Library.

When I listened to it (for the first time in 12 months) I was swept up once again just like every time I've listened to this disc. The melodies are beautiful, across the board. The musicianship is incredible. And there is a wistful, pentatonic sound that suffuses the whole album and, for me, encapsulates a certain kind of regretful feeling.

You will not be sorry to add this disc to your collection.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A direction for the future March 15, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Listening to the three instrumentals on Ethiopiques 1, I was prepared for what I heard on this CD. The music here is exclusively traditional Ethiopian pentatonic melodies arranged in a new and creative style. Except for the wonderful Tizita, new names are given to the songs, which is misleading, since they are not original Astatke's compositions. I enjoy the quiter and slower arrangements, when you can hear the distinctive sound of the soloists. Where are all of these musicians today ? It seems that the Mangistu revolutions has done permanent damage to the music and the musicians, since Ethiopian music after 1975 has nothing of the creativeness heard here. Today I believe that Ethiopian musicians should look back to these recordings for inspirations and try to pick up where they were stopped. This is goldmine to those who look for ways to develop Ethiopian music while keeping close to the roots.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Exciting Find... June 24, 2000
Format:Audio CD
I was smitten when I heard a cut off this disk on a "left of the dial" radio station in Boston and immediately tracked down a copy. I was not disappointed. The entire album has a fantastic musicality to it that is hard to describe, tradition and the exotic combined gracefully and interestingly. My sole complaint is that the sound quality on a few of the cuts (late 60s, early 70s recordings) is a bit spotty, which induces a little ear fatigue - after about the third consecutive listening. But I consider that a quibble. I recommend very hightly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very cool and unusual Afro Jazz/Funk January 5, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I bought this CD on a whim after it was recommended by Amazon, and I really like this album. Fans of Fela and other Afro Jazz / Afro Pop will probably like this one. The difference is that this is EAST African. While the music is primarily jazz and R&B, there are very clear local influences, which sound somewhat Middle Eastern to my uninitiated Western ears. It's unlike any other CD that I've ever heard, but it's familiar sounding enough to enjoy right away.

The sound quality is what it is! It's from Ethiopia more than 30 years ago! The sound quality is relatively primitive, but it's not something that should keep the open-minded listener from thoroughly enjoying this music. I could even argue that the sound gives it another unique touch.

My daunting challenge for me now is to determine which one of the other 19 volumes of this series to get next.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ethiopiques 4, the doro wat of Ethiopian Jazz December 24, 1999
Format:Audio CD
Having lived in Ethiopia for the better part of a year, it was great to find Ethiopiques 4. If they had played this on the Ethiopian buses I would have found transition to living there much easier. The music is definately influenced by the West, Miles Davis, James Brown, and Carlos Santana especially, however there are definate Ethio-quirks included. High pitched horns and beautiful Eastern melodies. Every now and then there is a guitar solo that would not be out of place on Iron Butterfly album. If you are looking for the doro wat of music then Ethiopiques if for you. I have also listened to Ethiopiques 3 and enjoyed the funk of that album as well. Not bad for music made by the cops and military
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mulatu Astatqe a truly unique voice in Jazz June 24, 2010
Format:Audio CD
Mulatu Astatqe is so unique it is hard to classify his music really. It is at once straight ahead jazz, funk, and then uniquely Ethiopian. I like everyone I imagine was introduced to this music via Broken Flowers. I enjoyed the movie but was left with a burning desire to seek out this music. I am somewhat new to jazz but this really made me think of jazz in a whole new way. I highly suggest this album as a way to redefine your relationship to jazz, it is truly a unique art form that stands the test of time. Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something different February 26, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Ethiopiques 4 is a rarity, for sure. Mulatu played with some big-name American jazz guys in the '60's before moving back to Ethiopia. The songs on this compilation are all well-composed, which is important because the musicians are generally not-so-great. They are of the same quality as the musicians on a typical Fela Kuti album. Put a big-name American player like Lester Bowie in there (like on Fela Kuti's "No Agreement") and he sounds like he's from a different planet. The music on Ethiopiques has a slight rock fusion vibe, some passages sound Mid-Eastern, and it mostly has a good beat. So, it's good music, but Mulatu wasn't able to scrape up top-level players at that time. It's interesting that Mulatu's Ethiopian jazz was not well-received by Ethiopians because it was extremely non-traditional.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a pleasure every time August 29, 2006
Format:Audio CD
This is powerful, mystical, ancient, ethereal, psychedelic stuff, wrapped in the raw familiar shapes of jazz, blues, funk, and pop. The horn melodies are dark and hypnotic, punctuated by guitar tones ranging from raw and distorted to reverb wah-wah, joined by electric piano, flute, and various percussion. I love most of the pieces, I think I realized around track #4 that this was special. And listen to track 5, the horns kick it off for the first 2 seconds, then they go away until a sax comes in at 1:22 and plays for awhile as the rhythm just pounds away in the background, finally the horns rip back in at 2:20 and keep at it until the end with a great repeating riff. The last track even approaches a sort of Stooges 'LA Blues'.

I also really love the Ethiopiques albums with Mahmoud Ahmed, I think they are #6 & 7 in the series.

The real charm of this music comes from the way it sounds, the way it was recorded. Raw and low-fi and brimming with soul, the needle pushing into the red. Dig it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 60's jazz from Ethiopia
The man was a genius who invented his own instrument! If you like cool jazz don't pass this up.
Published 21 days ago by Jeremy
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Own This Album!
One of the best Mulatu Astatke albums of all time. A must have for any collector of Jazz and or African Jazz.
Published 1 month ago by robert neil smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Ethiopiques 4
The jazz lovers I gave this to have rated this very highly and have listened to it repeatedly. Thomas Hickson
Published 2 months ago by Thomas Hickson
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully dissonant
A great record with a very unusual sound. I'm not a jazz expert but I find the dissonance to be strangely appealing. The perfect background music for a cocktail party!
Published 9 months ago by Rebecca T
5.0 out of 5 stars Replay value is key here
I have over 250 CDs (yes, I still collect CDs), and the one that has spent the most time in my car's CD player (yes, I still listen to my CDs in the car) is this one. Read more
Published 15 months ago by J. W. Boone
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow who's that?
My wife and I were dining at an Eritrean resturaunt in San Francisco an this Cd was playing in the back ground. Read more
Published 15 months ago by M. S. Fair
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Mulatu Astatke's tracks are great. However, my favorite track is the one by Germa Hadjo. I don't know how many times I listened and will listen to this CD.
Published 16 months ago by Hani Moustafa Abdulhameed
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this CD!
This is a great CD of Ethiopian instrumental jazz music. It's very mellow yet complex. I'm not a serious jazz aficionado so I'm not sure how to describe this music, but I can't... Read more
Published on May 16, 2012 by booksy
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes
Thanks to the eclectic tastes of the young dude at the local bottle shop I heard this album recently. Read more
Published on December 6, 2011 by Dave
4.0 out of 5 stars Languid, Groovy Lounge Music
This is a great album.

I actually heard about this from a bunch of indie-rock listening hipsters on the internets. Read more
Published on August 31, 2011 by G. Rao
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