Mulatu Astatke is an Ethiopian vibraphonist who pioneered Ethio-jazz more than half a century ago, has been sampled by legions of rappers and producers in the decades since, and has worked with everyone from Heliocentrics to Jim Jarmusch. Black Jesus Experience are a new-generation horn-laced Australian octet who add funk and hip-hop to the mix, adding their own unique variation to the Afro-jazz scene. On To Know Without Knowing — their second full-length collaboration — they deliver nine hybrid cuts that dynamically and boldly fuse their individual strengths to create hypnotic and seductive grooves that are more than the sum of their parts. But you don’t have to know all that to know whether or not you’ll dig these laid-back, pan-cultural headnodders. You will.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Legendary vibraphonist and “Father of Ethio-jazz”, Mulatu Astatke joins forces with Melbourne-based eight-piece Black Jesus Experience on their latest album To Know Without Knowing, an absorbing nine-track assembly of majestic Ethiopian melodies and hip-hop-infused jazz and funk grooves. Recorded between Addis Ababa and Melbourne and melding Astatke’s dexterous improvised stylings and Black Jesus Experience’s penchant for transcontinental and cultural exploration, To Know Without Knowing sees Mulatu Astatke and Black Jesus Experience (or BJX) expand on their unlikely yet formidable partnership, combining illuminating original compositions and exciting new arrangements of Ethio-jazz classics.