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Mulatu Steps Ahead [VINYL]

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl (29 Mar. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal
  • ASIN: B0037L0DE2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 704,168 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
I find a lot of stuff categorised as 'Jazz' is tacky, lounge lizard schmaltz and some of it is pretentious and technically overbearing dross from many exponents who are right up themselves and showing off in order to indicate what geniuses they obviously think they are. This album, however, is just so perfect. I have not heard of Mulatu Astakte before but I know when I am being bathed in luxurious musical beauty and this album is doing that to me. What a truly fantastic album from a master craftsman and his instrumental collaborators.This album has encouraged me to look for some other good stuff again. I have had a fleeting relationship with the genre over the decades. I just loved Joe Zawinuls album 'Zawinul' and early Brecker Brothers recordings, then interest trailed away because everything began to sound falsely concocted & silly again and I returned to Blues music, but this find has inspired me one more time.

Eamonn
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Format: Audio CD
Mulatu Astatke is a genius, and it's great to see him realy back on the scene. The efforts of Heliocentrics were great, but this one, made on the man's own terms is even better! Really love it.
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Format: Audio CD
A great album. The pinacle of the man's career. Well-written and well arranged songs. Musically brilliant and full of energy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Pinnacle! 15 April 2010
By zaytox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Just got the new Mulatu Astatke recording--Mulatu Steps Ahead (Strut 056CD). I believe this is his first recording of all new material since the 70s. His band is members of the Either Orchestra, a Boston area (semi) big band with a recording in the Ethiopiques series-- #20.

It was apparent from the outset that it was going to be very strong. I can say that depending on which context you wish to adopt, it may be his strongest work ever. From my standpoint, that is unequivocally so. His earliest recordings were fabulous in part because he was so young and impressionable when he made them. He was eager to embrace and expound upon a wide range of styles, influences he'd soaked up, primarily from western sources, and incorporate them in multiples of ways into the music of his native Ethiopia. As a result, the pieces in those recordings tended to bounce around, stylistically, a lot--which in his best recordings was a plus.

Mulatu Steps Ahead is far more (to use an overworked word) seamless. His wide range of influences have melted into a sort of ethnic jazz lounge-y stew that sounds equally as fresh as anything he did 30-40 years ago but has the advantage of greater maturity and technical expertise. I kept waiting for a weak track to come along but it didn't happen!

One other thing that could have "blown it" AFAIC, is that the producers did not go for the highly polished sound that marks so many modern recordings (Astatke himself was the "executive" producer). It was like he/they wanted to retain the aura of his past work--done, no doubt, in fairly primitive studios. This work was recorded over a two-year period in Acton MA, London, and Addis Abba. There is no indicator that all players were present at any of those studios and so it is likely that there was a fair degree of post-production work to bring it all together. In my view, then, the result of that approach is near miraculous and a testimony to the sensitivity and restraint of the producers.

An absolute gem.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars jazzy, funky, delicate, rough, atmospheric, gritty, hypnotic 14 April 2010
By Benissimo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Those are some of the adjectives that come to mind listening to this album, another deeply satisfying record by Mulatu Astatke. Grab this, and if you don't already have it pick up his Inspiration Information, Vol. 3 album too. This music is a great blend of accessible groove and deep imagination. The recording quality is great too. Listening to it on headphones is bliss. It reminds me of some of the great exploratory jazz from 60s Blue Note records, a similar sense of wonder and freedom.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mulatu astake steps ahead 20 Oct. 2011
By vinilo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
have no doubts about mulatu's new album, it is magnificent, retaining a fantastic organic production whilst stepping ahead with beautiful evocative new music. buy it now, and some more for your friends with cool tastes....
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