Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tommy T: The Prester John Sessions

Prester John SessionsJill Turner reviews Tommy T's The Prester John Sessions.
Enjoy a musical road map of Ethiopia, and discover a musical Eden full of treasures as Gogol Bordello bass man, Tommy T, inspired by the legend of Prester John, leaves the harsh punky Balkan sounds behind as he explores his Ethiopian roots in The Prester John Sessions.

Tommy T puts the music of Gogol Bordello firmly to one side and in contrast to both the bright blue and orange graphics of the sleeve cover and the harsher punk stylings of the Bordello brand of Balkan pop, we find a lush, well rounded, rolling album that fuses some of Ethiopia’s many musical forms with jazz, reggae and dub that you’ll want to play it over and over again. Its softer and perhaps more accessible than last year’s offerings of Ethiopian Dub / Jazz fusion from Nick Page's 'Dub Colossus in a Town called Addis' and more focused, less psychedelic and meandering than Dan Harper’s 'Punt'.
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Robin Denselow reviews Tommy T's The Prester John Sessions.
He may be best-known as the bass player backing Eugene Hutz in the frantic and highly theatrical ­American punk gypsy band Gogol Bordello, but Tommy T is also an Ethiopian ­multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter determined to make his own contribution to the Ethiopian ­fusion scene. He is influenced both by the ­classic, brass-backed songs of 60s ­Ethiopian dance music and by the ­contemporary blend of dub ­reggae and Ethiopian traditional styles ­pioneered by Dub Colossus, and to all of this he has added a dash of cool American funk and moody jazz.
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