|Availability:||Out of stock|
There is perhaps no woman more cherished in modern Ethiopian history than Asnakech Worku. As a musician, actress, dancer and culturalicon, Asnakech inspired and challenged society for decades, until her death in 2011. From her beginnings as Ethiopia’s first theater actress in 1952 to her climb to become one of the most famous actresses at the National Theater to her days as a club owner-turned-master musician, Asnakech’s inimitable confidence and charm made her a household name. She earned endless accolades across the artistic spectrum. She made seminal recordings of unforgettable original compositions, as well as legendary renditions of traditional songs, that became national staples. In 1975, keyboardist and bandleader Hailu Mergia got a call from the owner of Misratch Music Shop to do a recording with Asnakech and he went for it. This recording is a nearly-forgotten artifact of the remarkable icon’s singular legacy, remastered and available outside Ethiopia for the first time. It also provides a rare glimpse into Mergia’s work as a arranger-sideman in the Addis Ababa music scene. This trio recording featuring Mergia on organ and Temare Harege on drums using only brushes is starkly minimal but deeply evocative. The minimalist arrangements ensure the focus is on Asnakech’s incisive - and occasionally romantic - lyrics and her virtuosic krar performance.