Alèmayèhu Eshèté – Telantena Zare

I found out about this song when I was given the compilation The Very Best of Éthiopiques, a collection of various Ethiopian and Eritrean jazz and R&B music from the ’60s and ’70s. This is my favorite track from the compilation, a perfect example of why Alèmayèhu Eshèté has been called the Ethiopian James Brown. It’s a great soul song, and you can see the heavy American influence on the music of that era, while it still sounds distinctly different. The chords, riffs, and especially horn parts are what sets it apart, sounding pretty much the way Ethiopia sits geographically – somewhere in between West African music and Middle Eastern music. The rhythm and structure, on the other hand, stick to American R&B of the period. A quality dance track, if you want something a bit different. The rest of the compilation is very worth it as well.

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