Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Original Soundtrack, Mulatu Astatqe|
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks
Will this soundtrack do for Ethiopian composer and musician Mulatu Astatke what Titanic did for Celine Dion? Well...maybe on a much, much smaller scale. Astatke's circle of Western fans has already expanded thanks to the c... more »
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Will this soundtrack do for Ethiopian composer and musician Mulatu Astatke what Titanic did for Celine Dion? Well...maybe on a much, much smaller scale. Astatke's circle of Western fans has already expanded thanks to the compilation Ethiopiques, Vol. 4: Ethio Jazz & Musique Instrumentale, 1969-¬1974, and Jim Jarmusch's movie puts his hypnotic instrumentals to great use. This isn't surprising, since Jarmusch is a filmmaker with a natural affinity for music and its use onscreen. Here, a three-minute excerpt from stoner-rock legend Sleep's titanic "Dopesmoker" only offers a sample of the song (it actually lasts an hour) but it still sounds awesome, especially stuck between an Astatke track and Gabriel Fauré's "Requiem, Op. 48 (Pie Jesu)." Garage vets the Greenhornes and Holly Golightly contribute tracks together and separately, while indie-rockers Brian Jonestown Massacre's "Not If You Were the Last Dandy on Earth" (an answer song to the Dandy Warhols' "Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth") sounds as bilious now as it did in 1997. This is a rare case of a soundtrack that pulls together a broad range of artists yet remains oddly consistent--no doubt because it was assembled by a director with vision instead of a focus group. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Desert cha cha. Cuba goes to Memphis. Happy and brilliant.
Jesse Kornbluth | New York | 08/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Talk about 'heavy rotation' --- I'm already in danger of wearing this CD out. And all because of an aging Ethiopian musician I'd never heard of!
Bear with me on this, because the ingredients sound...odd. Mulatu Astatke grew up in Ethiopia but went abroad to study jazz in America. He was influenced by Miles Davis and John Coltrane --- and by the organist Jimmy Smith. What he brought back to Ethiopia was a blend of soul and jazz. Which he then proceeded to blend, once more, with traditional Ethiopian music.
The result is easy to listen to and hard to describe. The horns play cool jazz figures; you could almost mistake them for clarinets. But under that is a groove that could have been created by Booker T and the MGs. And connecting the two are some Ethiopian chords that sound exotic, space-changing, hypnotic.
Think desert cha cha. Cuba goes to Memphis. Ethiopian trance music.
Like nothing you have ever heard before.
Mulatu Astatke is the man in charge of all of it: He writes the music, arranges it, and plays piano, organ, vibes and percussion. Although the Golden Years of this Ethiopian music were ancient history --- from 1968 to 1974 --- Astatke is still a major figure in Ethiopian music, regularly playing and teaching.
Happily, Jim Jarmusch is one of those directors who not only listens to a lot of music, but looks for a way to integrate it into his films. "Music often leads me," he says. "I discovered Mulatu Astatke's music maybe seven years ago, and I was blown away by a few things I found that he had recorded in the late sixties. I was on a hunt for a number of years: I bought some vinyl; some of his jazz stuff; some Latin jazz recorded in the states; other Ethiopian stuff. And then I was like, "Oh, man, how can I get this music in a film? It's so beautiful and score-like." Then when I was writing, I was like, "Well, this neighbor [Jeffrey Wright] is Ethiopian-American, I can turn him on to the music."
You'll want to be the first on your block to hear this music. Not because of the 'hip' factor, though I won't pretend that's unimportant. But because of the pure pleasure --- this is very happy music, and happy in a smart way. Each time you listen, you hear a little more. With a hundred encounters, you may actually get what this genius is doing.
--- Jesse Kornbluth, (...)"
Worth it just for "Yegelle Tezeta"
J. Kramer | CA | 08/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie two weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and found not one bit of it, tedious or "bothersome" as one reviewer said (btw buddy this is a review place for the music not the movie, gosh!). The music just happened to help it move a bit more. I looked around and around for this CD, and finally found it at a Circuit City but I found the price (13.99) way too expensive, so I trotted on over (by that I mean typed in) to iTunes and checked if they had it for download, and it was up for (9.99), I quickly pressed BUY ALBUM and eagerly awaited for it to finish. Flames shot from my hands as I grabbed for my iPod so I could hear it, and once the first track started I was in Heaven! The one song that I cannot get enough of is track 2 called "Yegelle Tezeta", it has such a catchy little sound to it. I can imagine tons of scenes set to this little 4 minute piece of music!!!! Anyway, you should watch the movie and then get the CD, both are worth it!"
Broken Flowers not broken
A. Millett | 03/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This soundtrack is full of fabulous lounge music. It really sets a mood and keeps it going. The Mulatu Astatke tracks are your own person soundtrack for driving. You feel like you are in a movie. The haunting "There Is An End" by The Greenhorns with Holly Golightly is destine to be a classic."