... Thank to MULATU ASTATKE (STEPS AHEAD)
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It is comforting to find that the world is also present in our homeland, so much attached to itself and to the pureness of its imaginary roots to thee xtent that it does not want to see the interbreed from which it descends from nor the inescapable half-cast it is destined to. Africa's blood poured by Italy during that tragic glimpse in the beginning of ‘900 now sings also in our language, and it is nice to find again the world inside the blood.
Saba Anglana, born Mogadiscio - in Somalia - mother was Ethiopian and father was an Italian soldier, is the mixture of many language sensitivities, inserted, cultivated and searched starting from a full and partial italianity. In the occasion of Biyo, her second album published after Jiidika (World Music Network) by the prestigious Egea label, that search has taken her on the roads of Ethiopia which from Addis Ababa drove down toward south " the passage scrolling down from Acrocoro and the green vegetation would not abandon me, just like that mystic sense of which
Ethiopian land is soaked with."
Saba divided into two over the banks of the Mediterranean, in search of peace, just like a love born during a war. She grew up and studied as Italian, but her heart beats on the high planes of the horn of Africa, a seed that feels the urgency to develop more. In fact many of us feel closer to Africa than to who rejects its people. Why should she then not feel close to Africa and proud to carry it inside her blood?
So Saba's Africa grows inside and still always more present in her music, in the singing modulation, in the sweet sounds of the Somalia and American language and in her, in the melancholic beauty of her eyes. But a seed needs water to grow, and water - Biyo in Somali - is the theme of her new album. "We would carry yellow plastic tanks, precious containers like treasure chests for the sweet treasure; water. The element that marks the daily rhythm of their lives."
Eleven songs similar to trips that run after water, a musical trip and lyrical trip, because Saba is also an intellectual and dreaming poet. With her words she talks about the Mediterranean - in Sea water - "liquid sky over Africa's head, big cradle that waits with opened arms but will not kill people who are already dying." Or - in Crowded Desert - evokes water though it's lack, “which makes desert more difficult to cross". It is the path that across the Libyan Desert brings to Europe, a sort of metaphor for the new Silk Road.
Eleven songs with many souls, also more Creole than those of other great performers, who are also partially uprooted, like Natacha Atlas, Gigi or Susheela Raman, Together with her usual journey-friends, like Fabio Barover, co-authors in many songs, Martino Roberts on bass, Salvio Vassallo on drums, the Senegalese Cheick Fall on kora and on Cameroon percussions Taté Nsongan on guitar, veteran of metice music, this time Saba wanted, together with her and in the music also the presence of Ethiopians and of the traditional sounds of her land. And so we see entering her songs the lire, single chord violin and percussions that are there called knar,
masinko and washint.
All of this and much more is Biyo, music and research, popular songs, rock coming from a world that wants to be one but at the same time builds up walls and digs renches. An album which is financed by Amref, famous onlus concentrated mainly on the issue of water in Africa.
Saba thanks also Mulatu Astatke, old jazz player who found success in Addis Abeba in 1960, during the golden age for Ethiopian music and who as one of the first to search elsewhere and finally to meet Latin sounds from portorican emigrants in New York, where he created his extraordinary treasure garden where the mix of Ethiopian music, mambo, jazz and boogaloo would bloom.
Mulatu, who after years of silence returned first with Heliocentric and then again - always thanks to Strut - with his new Steps Ahead, follows a path that does not end. New compositions for a type of jazz that is now only rarely considered not to be dead, and this is the only case. Mulatu composes and plays his stellar vibraphone, sonic watery waves on top of the Either Orchestra di Boston - rich in saxophones, trumpets and trombones - the accompaniments over young members of Heliocentric, the interventions of London jazz players and Ethiopian musicians on vocals and other traditional instruments.
Today Mulatu the veteran of the ambassadors' of Ethiopian culture throughout the world and Saba, who follows him with curiosity is now maturing her steps, she thanks him, as it is normal to do in Africa; to recognize the merit to whom has come before.
1. Biyo (Saba)
2. Acqua di mare (Saba)
3. Mulatu's Mood (Mulatu)
4. Boogaloo (Mulatu)
4. Acqua di mare
5. Amal Fatah
6. Yet Nou
7. Crowded Desert
8. Djibouti Road
9. My father was a soldier
Author: Mulatu Astatke
Title: Mulatu Steps Ahead
2. Green Africa
3. The Way To Nice
5. I Faram Gami I Faram
6. Mulatu's Mood
7. Ethio Blues
Saba - Biyo
12 July 2010
... Thank to MULATU ASTATKE (STEPS AHEAD)
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