Music: Rare Hailu Mergia & The Walias Band Album ‘Tezeta’ to Be Reissued

Hailu Mergia & The Walias Band. (Photo courtesy of Awesome Tapes From Africa)

Pitchfork

Originally released on cassette tape in 1975, the reissue arrives this June via Awesome Tapes From Africa

Ethiopian music legend Hailu Mergia has announced a new reissue of his 1975 album with the Walias Band, Tezeta. The rare, initially cassette-only release has been remastered by restoration engineer Jessica Thompson and arrives June 4 via Awesome Tapes From Africa. Check out “Nefas New Zemedie,” as well as the album artwork and full tracklist, below.

Tezeta was recorded at the Hilton Hotel in Addis Ababa, where Mergia and the Walias Band were the resident backing band for some of the most influential names in Ethiopian music. It was the group’s first proper full-length release and was originally released under its own Ethio Sound label. At the time of the recording, the Walias Band lineup featured Moges Habte (saxophone and flute), Mahmoud Aman (guitar), Yohannes Tekola (trumpet), Melake Gebre (bass guitar), Girma Beyene (piano), Temare Haregu (drums), and Abebe Kassa (alto saxophone).

Read Pitchfork’s review of Hailu Mergia’s 2020 album Yene Mircha.

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