Mahmoud Ahmed

Erè Mèla Mèla

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Recorded over a three-year period from 1975-1978 (though much of it was recorded in 1975), this is Ahmed's crowning work, a record so sublime, passionate and demanding, that numerous plays only hint at its greatness. Despite the language barrier, it's hard to imagine that anyone with open ears can play this record and not get sucked into its glorious undertow of sound. The Ibex band (featuring the great sax duo of Feqadu Amde-Mesquel and Tewodros Meteku) swings, wails, jumps, and jives, and Ahmed's voice is in excellent form. If you had to rate the best records to ever come out of Ethiopia, this would be on the short list, if not number one.

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