Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru - Souvenirs LP

Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru - Souvenirs LP
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30.00 EUR
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Manufacturer: Mississipi
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  • Products description

    Divine first showcase of vocal works by beloved, dearly departed, Ethiopian nun and now-legendary pianist/composer Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru, released via the Mississippi Records label who brought her incredible work back to light with a 2012 reissue of the Éthiopiques 21 compilation ’Souvenirs’ is a blessed, intimate self-portrait written and recorded 1977-1985 by the late Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru; a classically-trained pianist turned nun, whose singular style of jazz and blues-inflected composition and performance became globally renowned in her latter years via reissues and compilations of her work reaching as far back as the ‘60s, namely the ‘Éthiopiques 21: Piano Solo’ CD and a much-prized eponymous set in 2016. At the age of 99, Emahoy passed away in Jerusalem, March, 2023, whilst planning towards this first showcase of her vocals, which have never appeared on her purely piano-based recordings before, and make for a truly life-affirming experience upon reception. The posthumous release, realised in collaboration with the artist’s family and Mississippi Records - a superb US archival label beloved for their big ears and heart - is a stone cold stunner. It grants unprecedented access to Emahoy's discrete craft and inner world in Addis Ababa, against a backdrop of the Ethiopian Red Terror and Civil War, prior subsequent exile in a Jerusalem convent. Whilst all no doubt defined by Emahoy’s signature, intricate and lilting type of classical meets jazz-blues rhythmelodic phrasing, the eight songs are all far more concise than her usual instrumental works, and made even more spellbinding by the revelation of her softly contoured and captivating vocals that beautifully trace and overlie the cadence of her keys. Replete with incidental creaks of the piano stool, birds outside the window, and Emahoy’s finger on the record button, the songs depict themes of wisdom, loss, mourning and soon-to-be exile, sung into a basic boombox. They place us in the room with her closer than ever, privy to a vocal version of the closing number to her eponymous compilation (MRP-099), now unveiled as a dedication her niece, the titular Tenkou, with lyrics to guide her adulthood “Don’t cry / Childhood won’t come back / Let it go with love”, alongside the beatific, open-window paean ‘Clouds Moving on the Sky’, and melancholic hiraeth of ‘Ethiopia My Homeland’ or ‘Don’t Forget Your Country’, and ineffable, humbling elegance of idea and execution to ‘Is It Sunny or Cloudy in the Land You Live?’ and ‘Where is the Highway of Thought?’. Utterly unmissable.

This Product was added to our catalogue on 22/02/2024.