Alemayehu Eshete :: Kotuma Fikreye

Here’s a favorite piece of choice vintage footage: legendary Ethiopian singer Alemayehu Eshete decked out in his trademark butterfly collars, sporting a sly grin and sultry shoulder shimmy, gesticulating along with the lyrics. Ticking octaves are picked out on blippy guitars, and the majestic melody comes via a pair of saxophones—a classic Ethiopian arrangement. The tight song structure doesn’t slow down in meditative repetition, so the tune is especially catchy and immediate. Eshete plays the cool showman without being flamboyant, engaging in a . . .

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