Samuel Yirga, 2011
Hagere is Samuel Yirga's debut solo release, showcasing Samuel's playing both bold and sensitive, often improvised, always deeply impassioned. Samuel is the piano player with Ethiopian collective, Dub Colossus, and whilst he left music school relatively recently, he has developed at a pace, both as a player and composer, remarkable for someone of his age.
Yeh Bati Koyita - a solo piano piece. The title means "A Time in Bati" - Bati is a town in northern Ethiopia, and also the name of the musical scale Samuel plays. The tune swings with a lilting rhythm and ripples with classical and jazz influences. Always the innovator, Samuel plays it not with the original time signatures in which it was written, but swapping between different timings to keep the tune fresh.
Abet Abet is a traditional love song which features the raw and melodic notes of the Ethiopian one-stringed fiddle, the mesenqo. Sammy is accompanied by some of Ethiopia's best young traditional instrumentalists:
Missale Legesse (Kebero), Endris Hassan (Mesenqo), Frew Mengiste (Bass),
Yonas Yimam (Percussion), Tewodros Alula (Trumpet), Yishak Dawit (Trombone), Alklilu W/Yohannes (Tenor Sax), Abiyou Solomon (Engineer)
Habasha Diaspora (Addis Piano Mix) - this mellow tune reverberates with muted horns and the gentle tones of Samuel's piano playing.
Featuring Ben Somers (Tenor and baritone saxes/flute), Dubulah (Guitars, Programming), Jonathan Radcliffe (Trumpet, Flugalhorn), Nick Van Gelder (Drums, Cuica), Paul Chivers (Congas, Perc kit), Robert Dowell (Trombone), Winston Blisset (Bass)
Ambassel In Box Revisited - a beautiful solo piano piece, recorded in The Wooden Room at Real World Studios. Open, spacious and full of melancholy and yearning, this is a deeply emotional virtuoso performance.