Ethiopian jazz

Has anyone heard of Girma Beyene? I got his songs from one of Ethiopiques collections. He played jazzy songs with the right groove! You can listen to four of his songs here. I like all four but if I had to choose one it’d be Enken Yelelebish. Some jazzy songs that recent musicians play are apprently his originally. Dawit Melese played “Set Alamnim”. Dawit’s version was nice too.

Alemayehu Eshete has some nice albums too. I like the song Ambassel from Addis Ababa album. I tried playing it but just couldn’t get my head around the Ambassel music scale. Of course Addis Ababa being my city, I also like Alemayehu Eshete’s “Addis Ababa Bete”. The one that starts with weyala’s calling out “Legehar Saris”.

Lyrics could get better. Girma Beyene sings about how beautiful a girl is, her hair her teeth, and all that. The music itself is well arranged and amazingly creative. For crying out loud guys, do some work on the lyrics!

Also heard Mulatu’s 2009 album – Inspiration Information Vol 3 . “Mulatu” is nice. That guy should write a book. Of course if I ask him he may say (with that deep voice of his) “My albums are my books and the songs are chapters”.



11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tibebe
    Jun 08, 2009 @ 08:58:33

    and look how wholesome we turned out to be 😆


  2. T
    Jun 07, 2009 @ 00:23:08

    well, actually what i had in mind was our avatar being shocked by the stupidity of yours. but yes, that sounds like something your avatar would say.

    a generation deprived of basic physics.


  3. tibebe
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 12:10:47

    The obvious reason being that my avatar is screaming at your avatar :”zzzzz…you are coming with me…z”


  4. getere
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 22:25:45

    eh? your avatar is getting an electric shock. all 220 volts will their glory. just see his eyes and his hair. he probably doesn’t realize that he should pull out his left hand from the wall outlet. i guess he figured putting his right hand in the other wall outlet will stop the shock. maybe he thought letting the electric flow is a good thing. little knowledge is dangerous. and our avatar, she is shocked for obvious reasons.


  5. betty
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 15:52:35

    Jazz fusion?.. real nice papy, He could be married for all I know now.
    Donot listen to him Avatar… he is just jealouse..

    neat mania… well I am taking classes with teenagers and I have to somehow let them know that the old lady in class can be cool too… so I inocorporated “neat” in my vocabulary; I wonder what Dr. POOL would say about this ( have you guys ever seen ” OSCAR”, it came out in the early 1990’s.. it is a comedy and Dr. Pool is an english instructor for a mafia boss in the movie)


  6. tibebe
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 13:19:51

    I have said this before and I will say it again: your avatar sucks! It is standing there shocked about something, presumably about how good my avatar can dance.

    1982 ain’t no random year- it is the year I was born. You better recognize fools!

    Thanks for the link for the meaning of songs. And yes it bothers me too that beauty is defined (even by me). I think Gigi belongs to a group that includes Zeritu, Teddy, Mikaya, Abinet, Eyob, Michael- in no particular order.

    And you best believe I spit physics, be it theoretical, non-theoretical , quasi theoretical, theoretical with milk,…

    This Fountain, I must see.

    Eros Ramazotti my ears cannot stand. I think Tiziano Ferro sounds much better.

    Eskista enilemamed binil enkuan man yastemirenal ; Desta yelech 💡

    Betty, what is with this “neat” mania? And forget BSB and WL. You should be listening to guys like Keith Murray, Redman and Methodman. The three trials, don’t worry cuz just about everyone knows about it. And most were brought to tears by my tribulations.
    Let me compose myself.

    Good luck with yeMulatu lij. I think you should ask him out :grin:Just don’t go to dinner at the Mulatu residence. Chances are the papa will bore you to death /make you uncomfortable with his jazz talk like “have you and my son decided upon which songs to screw to? A little jazz fusion perhaps?“

    Hibist’s Oromigna song from the lastt album rocks !


  7. betty
    May 28, 2009 @ 18:15:21

    Hey Tiliye, I agree with what you said Ye addis ababa ligoch.. we are in the middle.
    1982.. I like the randomness of the year…
    the “comp menchachat”….I love it…

    I love your Avatar and it loves me too… canot we share it? alebelezia kante maskoblel ayakitegnim.. so to agree or not to agree is the question….


  8. getere
    May 27, 2009 @ 20:17:58

    Betty why do you have to always steal my avatar!


  9. getere
    May 27, 2009 @ 20:17:10

    Tibe, I usually go to for interpretations. That song of REM’s is nice. You can find possible meanings here,

    Betty, you’re right its better to simply listen to the instrument and not put too much emphasis on the lyrics. I do that myself. I listen to pop songs which are mostly about nothing really and I listen to rap too …at least those that do not sound offensive. I guess I’m frustrated because there aren’t a good percentage of Ethiopian songs with good lyrics. I am a big fan of Gigi in that respect. She values her lyrics. Just listen to Adwa, Abay, Nafekegn.

    Dmx and Mulatu 🙂 Mulatu featuring DMX ayshalim. I can see Mulatu breaking his xylophone sticks on DMX’s head. No, not like rock guitarists breaking guitars on stage. This would be Mulatu getting really annoyed by DMX breaching every music rule there is and Mulatu having his worst day ever since 1982. Why 1982…because it’s a long time ago.

    Tibe, yes, as one old (angafa) musician said “yihe computer metana sewun hulu zefagn aderegew”. One would say this is “comp menchachat” but it has some truth in it.

    Your physics moment was really interesting. It lasted a few sentences! A correctly spelled physics word would be more than enough to ask of you. Of course it could be copy paste, but even so, all odds were against you while you do all the copying. Well done man, well done.


  10. betty
    May 27, 2009 @ 15:36:35

    Hey papiye you read my mind… Korkoro betifir sifak is real nice.

    I tried listening to the Germa Beyene song.. Enken yelelbish…( well he sort of contadicts himself… “woizwrit Ethiopia, konjo negne bai.” it feels like he is being sarcastic.. and ” teramej wedefit.”.. I believe he took this from ye Derg song.. ” Gira kegn, teramed wedefit”… ) I am just babling here, what do I know about lyrics and music any way.

    But I am gonna blame you for this Tilish… I stoped listening to lyrics of many songs ( I would be lying if I say I donot listen to the lyrics of BSB’s and Westlife’s songs).. I just listen to the music and that makes me happy and enjoy it. you made me interested in the music itself a long time ago and that I believe is neat.

    Hey papiye the ” Shut Up” and angry face is for me right?… donot worry I will keep your secret as long as I get the ” desta keremela” we all got at the end of the three trials.

    Dmx and Mulatu… seriously Tibe I would love to make that Cerebrum my Niche…., I like Mulatu and he has a son who is so cute.. well he was then when I met them; when I was like 5 or 6… I still remeber him being cute and then we also had taken some summer classes at St. Joseph…, any way Mulatu is the one the introduced me to EROS RAMAZZOTTI… wow from then on I listen to his songs.. Listen to ” DOMO MIA” that is neat.
    I heared that Mulatu is the one that created that xylophone thingie.. neat.

    you know more about music than I do, because for the love of GOD I couldnot understand the scale and note thing.., I cannot wait for a music 101 course as soon as I get my behind in Scotland…or you get here… so be ready my dear.

    Miles Davis… please… that Ethiopian Saxifonist whose name I couldnot remeber now was great. I actually enjoyed listening to him since my dad liked it and if you know my father he isnot that into music… I still blame my dad since I dont know how to ” eskista malet” which I hope to learn someday.


  11. tibebe
    May 27, 2009 @ 08:02:33

    korkoro betifir sifak, nice! 🙂

    but don’t you wish sometimes that all lyrics could at least be understood ? e.g. I love this song by r.e.m., losing my religion , but I cannot get what the singer is talking about; esp. in connection with the title. maybe it is me. any help in understanding it would be much appreciated.

    you are right ; I too happen to think that most Ethiopian lyrics are not that deep. but in earlier times what they lacked in depth of lyrics ,singers used to more than compensate for by the music. but most songs nowadays are ,in my opinion, shitty music with an even shittier words.

    Now I may not know much about scales and stuff but i know a little bit of physics (shut up 👿 ) – i think the universe is supposed to have a lot of suns. and the universe cannot have a true centre because it is expanding non-uniformly. these so called heliocentrists must not be familiar with the work of hubble.

    I had my physics on for a moment there, didn’t I? 😆

    you know what I wish mulatu would do? do a joint with dmx. that would have been ill ! an Africa jazz mender / ruff riders collabo. at the beginning of the song dmx would do his usual “ uh uh uh ….what what what….a dog needs a grr….” and mulatu would ,with all stoicism, play his xylophone thingie. that is until in the middle of the song dmx starts wilding out – too fast for mulatu . mulatu would make subtle signals for him to slow down but dmx would reply “ suck my ….. you don’t know who I be !”

    but really ,jazz and hip hop ,it could work . just listen to the doo bop song: miles davis.

    and there is a fifth scale you know: abyiotawi democracy 😉

    thirty three.


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