„The time from 1969 to 1974 is valid as a wondrous musical creativity explosion for which there are hardly correspondences also in the global context. By Addis Ababa Soul, Funk, Fusion and Jazz raved, every now and then even Rock. The musicians moved with the highest sovereignty by western stylistics, but never stayed a second with imitations, but used these style elements to achieve higher aims. It seemed rather to be a matter of serving to the rich treasure of Ethiopian music, her scales and song stylistics by supplying new musical surroundings.“ TAZ
In contrast to the first, much-discussed and much-beloved album „Beyond Addis – Contemporary Jazz & Funk inspired by Ethiopian Sounds from the 70’s“ based on the Ethio-jazz sound of Mulatu Astatke, here JJ Whitefield (Aka Jan Weissenfeldt, Mastermind of the bands “Poets Of Rhythm”, “Karl Hector & The Malcouns” and “The Whitefield Brothers”) unites modern interpretations of the sound of the hotel bands from Addis Ababa in the 1970s.
At that time almost every hotel bar got an own band. These bands were firmly hired and the name of the hotel often was the name of the band also: „Ibex Band“ or „Shebelles Band“, e. g. , These combos were often led by well known singers who did small-time from hotel to hotel and both were in common to animate the people for dancing. In addition it needed of course less jazz, than rather the typical sounds of that time: Soul, Funk and Rock rhythms.
In the beginning of the nineteen seventies, up to the military putsch in 1974 which put an abrupt end to the live entertainment with a curfew, Addis Ababa owned a vital music scene. As in many places in Africa the psychedelic rock songs from England and the USA had also arrived in the clubs of the Ethiopian capital and were taken up by young local musicians.
„Special of all five Ethiopian scales is the oriental sound. In the music of „Swinging Addis“ of the 70s these contrasts rubbed themselves each other: On the one hand western instruments (drums, bass, guitar, hornsections) and the stylistic influence of Jazz, Soul, R&B and Rock’n Roll. On the other side traditional song and composition techniques, as delivered from the Ethiopian folk music. “
The contemporary Ethio scene still grows and some of the newer bands can be heard with their first publications on this compilation: „The Sorcerers“ and „Anbessa Orchestra“. Moreover, the „Transgressors“ are represented again with an unpublished song.