Hagere, the debut release by Ethiopian phenomenon Samuel Yirga, is now available in North America for the very first time. Hagere, showcases the young pianist’s extraordinary playing. The EP was first released in England in 2011.
Samuel Yirga is based in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. He is the piano player with Nick “Dubulah” Page’s UK-Ethiopian fusion collective, Dub Colossus. Although he left music school relatively recently, he has developed at a fast pace, both as a player and composer. This digital EP follows up his widely acclaimed first full album Guzo that was released last fall.
Tracks include 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 has classical and jazz influences.
Abet Abet is a traditional love song that includes 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) is a mellow tune with muted horns and the gentle tones of Samuel’s piano playing. Lineup: Ben Somers (tenor and baritone saxes/flute), Dubulah (guitars, programming), Jonathan Radcliffe (trumpet, flugelhorn), Nick Van Gelder (drums, cuica), Paul Chivers (congas, percussion kit), Robert Dowell (trombone), Winston Blisset (bass)
Ambassel In Box Revisited is a beautiful solo piano piece, recorded in The Wooden Room at Real World Studios.