Mulatu Astatke

Also known as Astatke, Astatqe, M. Astatke, Mulatu, Mulatu Astake, Mulatu Astataque, Mulatu Astatké, Mulatu Astatqé, Mulatu Astatqe, Mulatu Astatqué, Mulatu Astatque, Mulatu Of Ethiopia

Discography of Mulatu Astatke:

# Release title Total tracks Type of release is Imprint date Label
1 Mulatu Astatke 4 Audio 2005 Soundway
2 Mulatu Of Ethiopia 7 Audio 1972 Worthy Records (2)
3 Plays Ethio-Jazz 9 Audio 1989 Poljazz
4 Mulatu Of Ethiopia 7 Audio Worthy Records (2)
5 Maskaram Setaba 4 Audio 1966 Addis Ababa Records
6 Mulatu Of Ethiopia 7 Audio 2009-02-00 Worthy Records (2)
7 New York - Addis - London - The Story Of Ethio Jazz 1965-1975 20 Audio 2009-10-26 Strut
8 Fikratchin / Mambo Sambo 2 Audio Philips
9 Mulatu Steps Ahead 9 Audio 2010-03-00 Strut
10 Mulatu Steps Ahead 9 Audio 2010-03-00 Strut
11 A Man Of Experience And Wisdom / Echoes / Aphreaka 3 Audio 2010 Mixed Blood Cuts
12 New York - Addis - London - The Story Of Ethio Jazz 1965-1975 20 Audio 2009 Strut
13 Yègellé Tezeta / As We Enter 2 Audio 2010-08-00 Originals
14 Mochilla Presents Timeless 37 Audio 2010
15 New York - Addis - London - The Story Of Ethio Jazz 1965-1975 20 Audio 2009
16 Mulatu Steps Ahead 10 Audio 2010-03-00 Strut
17 Le Allucinazioni 2 Audio Cdi (2)
18 Sketches Of Ethiopia 8 Audio 2013 Jazz Village
19 Ethio Jazz 9 Audio 2013-08-16 Heavenly Sweetness
20 Sketches Of Ethiopia 6 Audio 2013 Jazz Village
21 Sketches Of Ethiopia 6 Audio 2013 Jazz Village
22 Mote Adeladayou / Yekermo Saw 2 Audio 1969 Amha Records
23 Ethio Jazz 9 Audio Amha Records
24 Sketches Of Ethiopia 8 Audio 2013 Jazz Village
25 New York - Addis - London - The Story Of Ethio Jazz 1965-1975 20 Audio 2009-10-26 Strut
26 Mulatu Steps Ahead 9 Audio 2010 Strut
27 Gara Ser Now Betesh / Meche Derische 2 Audio Amha Records
28 Yebekagnale / Yegele Tezeta 2 Audio Amha Records
29 Yehagere Shitta / Ebo Lala 4 Audio Philips
30 Sketches Of Ethiopia 8 Audio 2013-09-04 King International


Mulatu Astatke (also written Astatqé on French releases) is arguably one of the most influential and legendary musicians from Ethiopia. During the 1960’s, he studied music abroad in London, Boston, and New York. He then returned home to Ethiopia armed with a love for jazz and Latin music. There he blended Ethiopian traditional music with the Latin-jazz he was so fond of to create a unique hybrid he called “Ethio-jazz”.

Mulatu Astatke is first and foremost a composer but also a multi-instrumentalist, playing the vibraphone, keyboards and organs. He is further credited as having established congas and bongos, instruments normally central to Latin styles, in Ethiopian music. However, as Ethiopian songs traditionally focused on vocals his greatest contribution to the music of his country was introducing a new focus on instrumentation.

Three of his LPs were recorded in New York City – his first two, [i]Afro-Latin Soul Volumes 1 & 2[/i] in 1966, plus later [i]Mulatu of Ethiopia[/i] in 1972. The bulk of his output was on Amha Records (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) on which he released several 7” singles as well as one LP in 1974 entitled [i]Yekatit Ethio-Jazz[/i].

Of late, Mulatu Astatke has been the center of renewed attention in the West through a compilation on the Parisian series Ethiopiques (Buda Musique) and a 10” 4-track compilation on the [l=Soundway] label out of Brighton England. Most notably, a number of his tracks were also featured in director Jim Jarmush’s 2005 independent film [i]Broken Flowers[/i] with actors Bill Murray and Julie Delpy.

A project to re-record some of Mulatu Astatke’s older work as well as new original material has recently been undertaken in collaboration with [a=Will Holland] of [a=Quantic] fame, drummer Max Weissenfeldt from [a=Poets Of Rhythm, The], trumpeter [a=Todd Simon], and Showboy from Fela Kuti’s [a=Egypt 80].

[i]Background material for this artist profile originates from several sources, including the notes from Ethiopiques Vol 4 (Buda Musique) and an article by [a=Miles Cleret] in Wax Poetics (Issue #14, Fall 2005).[/i]


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