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The Buzz and the Bells, our second cd, continues our journey into world jazz/ global grooves. As always, it's primarily Ethiopian, but we've also added stuff from Cameroon, Mali and Nigeria (by way of Brooklyn) to spice things up!

The band members remain the same, with the addition of Jeff "X" Morris on percussion.

The Buzz and the Bells

All songs arranged by George M Lowe

1 Lemon- George M Lowe (BMI) Based on the traditional Ethiopian classic, Lomiwen Tèqèbèlètch

Solos: Toby Whitaker- trombone, Chris Vasi- guitar

2 Daktari Disaster- Phillip Lehman, Alexander Roth, and Michael Wagner (Kobalt Music Pub America I o/b/o Bereket Music Inc.)

Our take on Daktari Walk, from the infamous "Soul Explosion" by The Daktaris.

Solos: Chris Vasi- guitar; Chris Sclafani- bari sax; John Lilley- tenor sax

3 Longing- George M Lowe (BMI), with inspiration from Tezalègn Yètentu, by the great Tlahoun  Gèssèssè

Solos: Toby Whitaker- trombone, Chris Vasi- guitar

4 Kulunmanqueleshi- Traditional Ethiopian

Solos: Chris Sclafani- bari sax, John Lilley- alto sax

5 Binta Madiallo- Based on the original by Cameroonian great, Francis Bebey

Solo: John Lilley- tenor sax

6 Mela Mela '17- George M Lowe (BMI)/ Traditional Ethiopian

Solos: John Lilley- tenor sax; Chris Vasi- guitar; Chris Sclafani- bari sax

7 Dewel- Traditional Ethiopian

Solos: Chris Sclafani- bari sax, John Lilley- alto sax

8 Madomba- Based on the original by Malian great, Issa Bagayogo

Solos: Toby Whitaker- trombone, Chris Vasi- guitar

9 Guragigna- Based on the original by Dub Collosus. Dubulah, Feleke Hailu, Samuel Yirga, and Sintayehu Zenebe (Sony/ATV Music Publishing)

Solos- Chris Sclafani- bari sax, Chris Vasi- guitar

Recorded at Minimum Wage Recording by the great one, Lance Koehler. Mixed By George M Lowe & Lance Koehler.

Mastered by Ian Beabout at Shedsounds Media.

Led by a driving horn section, Afro-Zen Allstars deliver a powerful instrumental collection on Greatest Hits that evokes irresistible rhythms and danceable grooves to match their acclaimed live performances. From Ethiopia's "Golden Age” of music (popularized by the Ethiopiques Series and groups like Debo Band) to wedding music of Rajasthan or Zimbabwe’s Chimurenga music of “revolutionary struggle,” Afro-Zen honors a heritage of positive music through the modern arrangements of its bandleader, George M. Lowe. As a lifelong student of international music, Lowe takes the listener to a place where the sound is rare yet familiar.
 

On Afro-Zen Allstars Greatest Hits, he leads the powerhouse lineup of Hector “Coco” Barez, percussion; Brian Cruse, Bass; John Lilley, Alto and Tenor Sax; George M. Lowe, Guitar; Scott Milstead, Drums; Chris Sclafani, Baritone Sax; Chris Vasi, Guitar; and Toby Whitaker, Trombone through highlights of their vast songbook of Ethiojazz standards and originals.

 

Greatest Hits 

All songs arranged by George M Lowe
 

1 Cha Cha - Mulatu Astatke (Kobalt Music Publishing America, Inc.)

Solos: George M Lowe & Chris Vasi, guitars; Christopher Sclafani,  baritone sax
 

2 Aj Aj- Rajasthani wedding music

Solos: Christopher Sclafani, baritone sax; Toby Whitaker, trombone
 

3 Bemen Sebeb Letlash - Mahmoud Ahmed (Strictly Confidential, Belgium)

Solos: Toby Whitaker, trombone; Chris Vasi, guitar

4 Alemye - Traditional Ethiopian

Solo: John Lilley, alto sax

 

5 Beautiful - Based on Ethiopian classic “Antchi Qondjo”, Ayalew Abbebe

Solos: Christopher Sclafani, baritone sax; Chris Vasi, guitar; Toby Whitaker, trombone

6 Netsanet - Mulatu Astatke (Reel Muzik Werks, LLC)

Solos: Chris Vasi, guitar; John Lilley, tenor sax

7 Muramba Doro - Thomas Mapfumo (Chimurenga Music)

Solos: Chris Vasi, guitar; John Lilley, alto sax

8 Wu-Beat- Based on Ethiopian classic “Wubit”, Mulatu Astatke (Reel Muzik Werks, LLC)

Solos: Christopher Sclafani, baritone sax; Toby Whitaker, trombone

9 Orisha - Tim Harding

Solos: Suzi Fischer, tenor sax; John Lilley, alto sax

10 Somebody’s Got To Pay - George M Lowe (BMI) (with a rhythmic nod to the Ethiopian classic, Hedetch alu)

Solos: Chris Vasi, guitar; John Lilley, tenor sax

Recorded at Minimum Wage Recording on 10/30/16.

Engineered, mixed and mastered by Lance Koehler.