Aselefech Ashine and Getenesh Kebret - Beauties LP
On this 1976 gem of a record, Aselefech Ashine and Getenesh Kebret’s voices intertwine in close harmony, the two “beauties” singing in duets across 10 gorgeous tracks. The Army Band, which backed greats like Tlahoun Gesesse and Mahmoud Ahmed, brings Mulatu-esque minor-key piano runs, interlocking percussion, and rock-steady basslines. Arranger Teshome Sisay’s flute winds through the compositions, tying together gloriously woozy horns. The greatest elements of Ethiopia’s Golden Age combine here, in one of the final records of the era. Aselefech Ashine and Getenesh Kebret, two young women raised in the bustling cosmopolitan world of late-Empire Addis Ababa, met at the capital’s legendary Hager Fikir Theatre, where centuries-old Ethiopian culture was transmitted to the country’s modern elite.