Acclaimed Los Angeles-based drummer and producer Te’Amir Sweeney explores his Ethiopian heritage on his new EP titled Abyssinia.
Drawing inspiration from the Ethiopian music that reverberated around his home as a child he says “my father is from Ethiopia,” he continues to explain “he would play me recordings of traditional music and hits from the Golden Era when I was a kid. They were my connection to Ethiopia. I loved it.”
The project is a beautiful mix of hip-hop, roots, jazz and soul all genres that Sweeney has been heavily involved in working on with the likes of Aloe Blacc, Sa-Ra Creative Partners, Kamasi Washington, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Kadhja Bonet, Ethio-Cali, Quantic to name a few.
Opening with the rich jazzy fusion of ‘Habesha’ from the off; the calming inflexions of ‘The Quest,’ as its title suggests really does take you on an adventure. Fourth track ‘Randal in Addis’ will have you swooning with its sultry sax and rootsy rhythm. While the warming grooves of ‘Afrika’ with its vibrant stabs of brass and keys will have you grooving to its fantastic vibe.
On the five-track project, Sweeney is joined by Dustin Warren (vocals), Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (strings), Rebekah Raff (harp), Randal Fisher (sax) and many more of L.A.’s finest creatives.
It’s a near flawless EP that weaves the traditional legacy of Ethio-jazz with modern-day interpretations of the genre in the process.
Listen below and head to Sweeney’s Bandcamp page to buy his 5-track project.