Mulatu Astatke

Mulatu Astatke

Mulatu Astatke (also written Astatqé on French releases) is arguably one of the most influential and legendary musicians from Ethiopia. During the 1960’s, he studied music abroad in London, Boston, and New York. He then returned home to Ethiopia armed with a love for jazz and Latin music. There he blended Ethiopian traditional music with the Latin-jazz he was so fond of to create a unique hybrid he called “Ethio-jazz”.
Mulatu Astatke is first and foremost a composer but also a multi-instrumentalist, playing the vibraphone, keyboards and organs. He is further credited as having established congas and bongos, instruments normally central to Latin styles, in Ethiopian music. However, as Ethiopian songs traditionally focused on vocals his greatest contribution to the music of his country was introducing a new focus on instrumentation.
Three of his LPs were recorded in New York City – his first two, Afro-Latin Soul Volumes 1 & 2 in 1966, plus later Mulatu of Ethiopia in 1972. The bulk of his output was on Amha Records (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) on which he released several 7” singles as well as one LP in 1974 entitled Yekatit Ethio-Jazz.
Of late, Mulatu Astatke has been the center of renewed attention in the West through a compilation on the Parisian series Ethiopiques (Buda Musique) and a 10” 4-track compilation on the Soundway label out of Brighton England. Most notably, a number of his tracks were also featured in director Jim Jarmush’s 2005 independent film Broken Flowers with actors Bill Murray and Julie Delpy.
A project to re-record some of Mulatu Astatke’s older work as well as new original material has recently been undertaken in collaboration with [Invalid Artist] of Quantic fame, drummer Max Weissenfeldt from Poets of Rhythm, trumpeter Todd Simon, and Showboy from Fela Kuti’s Egypt 80.

Background material for this artist profile originates from several sources, including the notes from Ethiopiques Vol 4 (Buda Musique) and an article by Miles Cleret in Wax Poetics (Issue #14, Fall 2005).
In Groups:

Mulatu Astatke Discography


W-1020 Mulatu Astatke Mulatu Of Ethiopia (Album) Worthy Records (2) W-1020 US 1972 Sell This Version
AELP 90 Mulatu Astatke featuring Fekade Amde Maskal* Mulatu Astatke featuring Fekade Amde Maskal* - Ethio Jazz (Album) Amha Records AELP 90 Ethiopia 1974 Sell This Version
PSJ-252 Mulatu Astatke Plays Ethio-Jazz(LP) Poljazz PSJ-252 Poland 1989 Sell This Version
STRUT040CD Mulatu Astatke / The Heliocentrics Mulatu Astatke / The Heliocentrics - Inspiration Information (Album) Strut STRUT040CD UK, Europe & US 2009 Sell This Version
MOLP-007 Mulatu Astatke Mochilla Presents Timeless Mochilla MOLP-007 US 2010 Sell This Version
STRUT056CD Mulatu Astatke Mulatu Steps Ahead (Album) Strut STRUT056CD US 2010 Sell This Version
JV 33570015 Mulatu Astatke Sketches Of Ethiopia (Album) Jazz Village JV 33570015 France 2013 Sell This Version
CALP2043 Mulatu Astatke Le Allucinazioni(LP) Cdi (2) CALP2043 Italy Unknown Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

EP-AA1013 Mulatu Astatke Maskaram Setaba(7") Addis Ababa Records EP-AA1013 US 1966 Sell This Version
AE 190 Teshome Meteku* / Mulatu Astatke Teshome Meteku* / Mulatu Astatke - Mote Adeladayou / Yekermo Saw(7", Single) Amha Records AE 190 Ethiopia 1969 Sell This Version
PH - 100 Mulatu Astatke & Telahun Gesesse* Mulatu Astatke & Telahun Gesesse* - Yehagere Shitta / Ebo Lala (7") Philips PH - 100 Ethiopia 1970 Sell This Version
PH 7 - 103 Telahun Gessese* / Mulatu Astatke Telahun Gessese* / Mulatu Astatke - Sithed Siketelat / Yefikir Tizita(7", Single, Mono) Philips PH 7 - 103 Ethiopia 1970 Sell This Version
SNDW10001 Mulatu Astatke Mulatu Astatke(10") Soundway SNDW10001 UK 2005 Sell This Version
005 Mulatu Astatke / Richard Sen + Cazbee*, Zopelar Mulatu Astatke / Richard Sen + Cazbee*, Zopelar - A Man Of Experience And Wisdom / Echoes / Aphreaka(12", Promo) Mixed Blood Cuts 005 UK 2010 Sell This Version
AFR45.03 Mulatu Astatke Yègellé Tezeta / Yèkatit (Single) Mr Bongo AFR45.03 UK 2015 Sell This Version
AE 160 Girma Beyene*, Mulatu Astatke Girma Beyene*, Mulatu Astatke - Yebekagnale / Yegele Tezeta(7") Amha Records AE 160 Ethiopia Unknown Sell This Version
AE 180 Teshome Meteku*, Mulatu Astatke Teshome Meteku*, Mulatu Astatke - Gara Ser Now Betesh / Meche Derische(7") Amha Records AE 180 Ethiopia Unknown Sell This Version
PH 7 - 101 A Tlahoun Gèssèssè, Mulatu Astatke Tlahoun Gèssèssè, Mulatu Astatke - Tiz Alegn Yetintu / Emnete(7") Philips PH 7 - 101 A Unknown Sell This Version
PH 7 - 106 Menelik Wossenatchew*, Mulatu Astatke & All Star Band Menelik Wossenatchew*, Mulatu Astatke & All Star Band - Fikratchin / Mambo Sambo(7", Mono) Philips PH 7 - 106 Ethiopia Unknown Sell This Version


82964-2 Mulatu Astatqé* Éthiopiques 4: Ethio Jazz & Musique Instrumentale 1969-1974(CD, Comp) Buda Musique 82964-2 France 1998 Sell This Version
MQD1233 Mulatu Astatke Ethio Jazz Vol. 1(CD, Album, Comp) Azmari MQD1233 2006 Sell This Version
STRUT051CD Mulatu Astatke New York - Addis - London - The Story Of Ethio Jazz 1965-1975 (Comp) Strut STRUT051CD Germany 2009 Sell This Version