Tuesday, March 25, 2014

CD Review: Atse Tewodros Project's Self-Titled Release

Atse Tewodros Project
Atse Tewodros Project

Envisioned by singer, writer, and performer, Gabriella Ghermandi, the Atse Tewodros Project is a collaboration between Ethiopian and Italian musicians. The music is steeped in Ethiopian traditional modes and scales with a bit of European jazz. The project is named after a prominent Ethiopian emperor: Atse Tewodros. The jaunty music is jazzy, purely Ethiopian, and rich with great rhythms and melodies. Gabriella lends her vocal talent throughout, while others play the washint, masinqo, kirar, kebero, drums, bass, piano, and assorted percussion. Song lyrics are provided by Gabriella Ghermandi, Aklilu Zewdie, Berhanu Gizaw, and Inish Hailu. There are plenty of likable tracks here, including "Atse Tewodros," "Che Belew," "Be Kibir," and "Tew Belew." A few tracks contain some spoken words. However, the majority of the songs contain sung vocals. Anyone with an interest in innovative and traditional, Ethiopian music, will surely find the Atse Tewodros Project high on the list of must-haves. ~ Matthew Forss

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