I'm appreciative of a review I saw for this artist some time back in the "Songlines" publication, published in the UK, although I'm not a fan of the "world music" tag, as it seems to me, and a lot of others, as an odd cultural tautology, given that all music is global.
Mulatu Astatke is very likely to appeal to fans of great jazz fusion, like Miles Davis in the 70s, Return to Forever, Joe Zawinul, maybe Sonny Clark. You get the gist. Its very funky, very literate, very bop-like in its structure so that whilst it's likely to be mostly improvised on a theme, the thematic development never gets derailed leading to a some kind of cognitive dissonance for the listener. The playing is superb, from Mulatu himself, and a host of other premium artists like Phil Ranelin and Bennie Maupin. The three tiered percussion and electric guitar give the music some exciting dimensions.
Others will dissect the music better than I can, I just hope to turn a few jazz and funk fans of the western world on to some great music.