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Guzo by Samuel Yirga
Released: Jul 2012
Label: Real World Records
Sometimes an album just takes your breath away. Swirling together contemporary jazz and Ethiopian grooves with a graceful boldness and elegant subtlety that makes this Addis Ababa-born pianist’s youth hard to believe, Guzo lures you in from the first creeping, tantalizing bass strains of “Abet Abet.” But each track offers new reasons to stay mesmerized: the quietly powerful octaves of “Ye Bati Koyita,” the sinewy funk of “Firma Ena Wereket,” the throbbing horns and complex vocal jazz of “I Am the Black Gold...” We stupidly tried to do other things while listening to “My Head.” It didn’t work.
Rachel Devitt
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