Mochilla Presents Timeless Mulatu Astatke Rar
Mochilla Presents Timeless: Mulatu Astatke
Mulatu Astatke is a legendary Ethiopian musician and composer, widely regarded as the father of Ethio-jazz, a fusion of traditional Ethiopian music with jazz, funk, soul and Latin rhythms. He has influenced many artists across genres and generations, such as Duke Ellington, Alice Coltrane, The Heliocentrics, Madlib and Flying Lotus.
In 2010, he released a live album and DVD titled Mochilla Presents Timeless: Mulatu Astatke, which captured his historic performance at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex in Los Angeles on February 1st, 2009. The show was part of the Timeless concert series, curated by Mochilla, a production company founded by photographers and filmmakers B+ and Eric Coleman. The series also featured Brazilian composer Arthur Verocai and the Suite for Ma Dukes orchestra, paying tribute to the late J Dilla.
For the Timeless show, Mulatu Astatke was backed by a stellar band of Los Angeles jazz musicians, including Bennie Maupin on bass clarinet and flute, Azar Lawrence on tenor saxophone, Phil Ranelin on trombone, Todd Simon on trumpet and flugelhorn, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson on viola, Brandon Coleman on keyboards, Dan Ubick on guitar, Trevor Ware on bass, Tony Austin on drums and Munyungo Jackson and Alan Lightner on percussion. Together, they delivered a mesmerizing set of classic and new compositions by Astatke, blending Ethiopian scales and rhythms with jazz improvisation and harmony.
The album and DVD include nine tracks from the live performance, such as Yèkèrmo Sèw, The Radcliffe, Yèkatit and Yègellé Tezeta. The DVD also contains special features such as a live feed with board mix, slideshows of photos from Ethiopia and behind the scenes, and trailers of other Mochilla projects. The album and DVD are available as a CD/DVD combo or as a double vinyl LP with a digital download card.
Mochilla Presents Timeless: Mulatu Astatke is a rare and precious document of one of the most influential and original voices in African music. It is also a testament to the power of cross-cultural collaboration and artistic vision. As Astatke himself said at the end of the show: "This is history in the making."