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Richard M. from ELMIRA, NY
Reviewed on 11/20/2006...
There's a hole in the bar code on the back panel. Disc is in great condition
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
STAR OF ETHIOPIA
Pieter | Johannesburg | 06/09/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The statuesque Aster Aweke, who physically if not musically resembles Grace Jones, really shines on this, her second album the title of which means "Sacred Stones." She's backed by a sensitive ensemble of London jazzmen that does full justice to her unusual voice and spectacular delivery. While the rhythms range from complex Ethiopian styles to smooth jazz-funk, Aster's voice displays a remarkable variety of modalities, from yearning to rapturous and from coaxing to celebratory. The album opens with "Yedi Gosh" (My Guy), a sensual uptempo number where Aweke's voice quivers and swoops to be interrupted at times by interludes of whistling and melodic purring. The second track "Yaz-oh" (Get It On) is a steadily pounding dance ditty calling for a remix, whilst the title track is a brooding ballad where her voice soars and plummets from on high to below sea level, yet remains understated with a sort of quiet intensity. The bouncy "Kezira" includes yodeling as her voice runs up and down the scales in an impressively swirling intonation. "Bati"is again a slow number, and "Chewata"(Romance) is almost reminiscent of Laurie Anderson in its devotional dirge-like power over an entrancing drum pattern and with a particularly impressive acoustic base and dramatic finger-clicks. The songs - a mix of traditional Amharic tunes and Aweke's own compositions - are highly distinctive and in a class of African music quite unlike anything else."
A Wonderous Voice from Mother Africa
Louis Alemayehu | Minneapolis/Saint Paul, MN USA | 09/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This woman has a rare, rare voice. She has Sarah Vaughn pipes AND emotive powers Sarah never had.
I don't like every thing on this album for sure. The highlights for me are: Bati, Tchewata (which sounds a lot like a traditional Ethiopian song that is almost their national anthemn, called Tizeta ) and Kabu (sacred rock).
The songs and arrangements on those 3 are a perfect settings for this exquisite voice. I would buy it again just for those 3 performances alone.
One of my family or friends "borrowed" this from me. I MUST replace it and NEVER loan again!"