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In 1977, Hailu Mergia & The Walias Band recorded an exceptional LP entitled Tche Belew. Set against the backdrop of post-revolution Ethiopia, it consisted of light and groovy ethiojazz instrumentals, which brought Mergia’s organ playing to the fore. Two years prior to the making of that record, Mergia had taken a session with vocalist, krar player and actress, Asnakech Worku. Acting as sideman/arranger, he accompanied her on the ten tracks that make up the late singers’ newly re-issued album. On its second track, Tche Belew, Mergia’s beguiling organ phrases swirl and dive, at times nestling behind Asnakech’s voice or the lines of her Northeast African string instrument, at other times leading the composition. The style is a far cry from the Tche Belew we hear two years later on his record with The Walias Band, adding to the intrigue which surrounds the Ehtiopian standard.

This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 17 October, 2018.

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