Pioneer Works Swing (Live) (LP)

Sale price$19.50



Format: LP
Label: Awesome Tapes From Africa
Year: 2023

Media Condition: New
Sleeve/Cover Condition: New


A1. Yegle Nesh
A2. Tizita
A3. Belew Beduby
A4. Anchihoye Lene
A5. Abichu Nega Nega
A6. Yetewat Hilm

B1. Anchihoye Lene
B2. Abichu Nega Nega
B3. Yetewat Hilm

Previously unreleased, recorded July 1, 2016. This black vinyl edition includes a poster print of the front cover art.

Hailu Mergia — Keyboards, Accordion, Melodica, Vocals
Alemseged Kebede — Bass Guitar
Kenneth Joseph — Drums

A trailblazing powerhouse of modern Ethiopian music, Hailu Mergia was at the forefront of a musical revolution during an era where modern instruments and foreign styles superseded the traditional fare to become the staple sound of Ethiopia.

In the latter half of the 1970s, Hailu Mergia was probably the most important figure in Ethiopian popular music. He and his band operated independently of any government, studio, or concert hall while remaining a constantly in-demand presence in all of them.

Like so many of his compatriots both within and outside the musical community, Hailu Mergia emigrated from Ethiopia at the turn of the 1980's, and settled permanently in the DC area. He lived in relative anonymity, working primarily as a cab driver, performing and recording only sporadically until New York-based record label Awesome Tapes From Africa began re-issuing his classic Ethiopian records in the 2010's.

Mergia assembled a band and began performing live again. His first show back appeared on the front page of the New York Times along with a stellar review and he took off from there, performing his flavor of Ethiopian jazz all over the world in the years since.

Finally, we have a recorded document of the keyboard player’s powerful DC-based trio—-featuring Kenneth Joseph on drums and Alemseged Kebede on bass--captured at one of their fiery live shows. The performance clarifies what many people across the globe already know: in his fifth decade of music-making Hailu Mergia continues to push the boundaries of his remarkable abilities.

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