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Format: LP
Label: Awesome Tapes From Africa
Year: 2021

Media Condition: New
Sleeve/Cover Condition: New

TRACKS:

A1 Tezeta
A2 Endegena
A3 Zengadyw Derekou
A4 Gumegum

B1 Nefas New Zemedie
B2 Atmetalegnem Woi
B3 Mestirawi Debdabe
B4 Ou-Ou-Ta
B5 Aya Blew Belew

Originally released in 1975.

PERSONNEL:

Abebe Kassa
Girma Beyene
Hailu Mergia
Melake Gebre
Netsanet Mèllèssè
Temare Haregu
Tilaye Gebre
Yohannes Tekola

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Walias Band were at the forefront of the musical revolution during an era where modern instruments and foreign styles superseded the traditional fare to become the staple sound of Ethiopia.

Tezeta is the band’s second recording, released in 1975. Its unique and funky renditions of standards and popular songs of the day are so quintessentially Walias, flavorful and evocative. Hailu’s melodic organ, unashamedly front and center in every track, makes even the complex pieces accessible.

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. In 2018 he recorded his first LP of new material in at least 20 years, Lala Belu, to wide acclaim, and followed up in 2020 with the Yene Mircha LP.

Tezeta continues the series of re-issues of Mergia and Walias Band's original Ethiopian LP's. Hats off to ATFA for returning this one-of-a-kind pioneer to the studio, stage, and shop shelves! And what a spectacular addition to the musical life of the nation's capital.

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