Awesome Tapes from Africa
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Ethio-jazz legend Hailu Mergia is arguably one of Awesome Tapes From Africa's biggest success stories. After discovering that he was now driving a taxi in Washington, D.C, label boss Brian Shimkovitz reissued some of his old recordings before encouraging the keyboardist and accordion player to make new music. Mergia has been on the rise ever since. Yene Mircha is his second new album for ATFM and was recorded with a cast list of guest musicians, including mesenqo player Setegn Atanew, vocalist Tsehay Kassa, and saxophonist Moges Habte. It's surprisingly musically diverse, drawing together elements of jazz-funk, ethio-jazz, more up-tempo Ethiopian dance music and, perhaps most surprisingly of all, both dub and reggae.