Mulatu Steps Ahead – Mulatu Astake
Mulatu Steps Ahead
Ethiopian Jazz legend Mulatu follows up last year’s glorious Inspiration Information album alongside the Heliocentrics, and whilst some members of the Helios do pop up here (as well as guests from the Boston based Ether Orchestra), the whole set is clearly lacking the vibrant input they brought to that project. Mostly there’s a pedestrian jazzy vibe, which works in places but generally the whole thing feels a little half-baked. However some of the old Ethiopiques magic is captured on a re-recording of the classic I Faram Gami I, fattening up its rolling Latin flavours and Mulatu’s Mood injects some seriously funky West African vibes and Kora into the mix.