originally posted on AfroCubanLatin jazz blog >
Ethiopian singer Eténèsh Wassié previously appeared with the French jazz group Le Tigre des Plantanes on the album "Ethiosonic”. Here she is only accompanied by le Tigre’s acoustic bass player Mathieu Sourisseau, with very occasional contributions from guest instrumentalists, and the result is a stark contrast in sound.
The complicity between Etenesh’s untamed voice and Mathieu’s shifting chords create an intimate musical experience with plenty of open spaces for improvisation while the Ethiopian repertoire is subtly coloured by Western musical influences
Eténèsh is an adventurer. With an outstanding personality, she is ready to embark on the wildest projects. She was born in Gonder in 1971 and discovered very early she had a voice. Although she has established herself with her three-piece suits, her humor and her sharp sense of the joke , Etenesh has always had a special place in the azmari area. In Ethiopia, azmari tradition, these "griots" of East Africa, is very strong and is part of daily life. She began her career in the early 90s in "azmaribèts", these kind of cabarets, accompanied by messenqo players (one string violin) and kebero (percussion), she keeps the tradition alive in vocal improvisations rich in double meaning "sem-enna-wèrq" (the famous national intellectual sport!). Quickly invited by several Ethiopian musicians with whom she collaborated on stage or on disc, Etenesh gradually frees herself and joins the network of artists outside the mainstream.
Francis Falceto, big fan of those azmaribèts and editor of the series "Ethiopiques", discovered Etenesh and felt in love with her unique voice and her charisma. He invited her to several European tours between 2000 and 2005 with musicians, singers and dancers for "Cabaret Ethiopian" tours (Banlieues Bleues, Tribu Festival, Châteauvallon ...).
Then in 2007, he suggested her to join le Tigre des Platanes. Since she is touring internationally several times a year.
“Eyes half shut, Eténèsh lets her voice guide her where it takes her (takes us), thrilling, digging, colossal little sister of such a Piaf and a Billie Holiday. But the register of tears wouldn’t be enough for her, and she might as well, without warning, hasten the tempo after a ballade we would have wished endless.”
Mathieu Sourisseau – acoustic bass
Mathieu is first of all guitarist, sousaphonist autodidact, Mathieu is currently exploring the possibilities of the bass because ... it's like a condensed version of both. Mathieu Sourisseau is a longtime companion of saxophonist Marc Démereau, with who he is associated for several projects : sousaphone in La Friture Moderne, fanfare de luxe. It's with le Tigre des Platanes - cheeky quartet in which he plays the acoustic bass - he felt in love with the voice of Etenesh Wassie. Mathieu also works with Didier Kovarsky in les Oiseaux. He worked also with Benoit-Bonnemaison Fitte for an acoustic guitar solo accompanied by super eight films: la Maison, Souris, created at the request of Jean-Pierre Layrac for the opening of the season 2004/2005 of Un Pavé dans le Jazz.
02. Ende Matew Style
04. Gonder c’est Bon
05. Belo Belo Belo
10. Kassa Tezeta