Greatest HIts - About

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 both rare yet familiar.

On Afro-Zen Allstars’s 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 was recorded on October 30, 2016 at Minimum Wage Recording by Lance Koehler in Richmond, Virginia.


Greatest Hits - Song Credits

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

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