Wondem (meaning ‘brother’ in Amharic) is Dexter Story's Soundway Records album and his live ensemble inspired by Ethiopian, Somalian, Eritrean, Sudanese and Kenyan culture, and by his passionate tenure in the Los Angeles-based World jazz ensemble Ethio Cali.
Ethio Cali is a Los Angeles-based Ethio-Jazz ensemble, led by trumpeter, arranger, and composer Todd Simon. The ensemble's sublime sound is inspired by the golden age of Ethiopian music of the 1960's and 70's, filtered through a lens that is uniquely Los Angeles. Acknowledging the diverse musical foundations of Ethio-Jazz, the ensemble also draws inspiration from the rhythmic and melodic textures of Sudan, Somalia, Ghana, and Colombia. Ethio Cali's first EP will be released in Spring 2014.
Ethio Cali features:
Todd Simon – Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Music Director
Kamasi Washington – Tenor Saxophone
Randal Fisher – Tenor Saxophone
Mark de Clive-Lowe – Keys
Alan Lightner – Steel Pan
Damon Aaron – Guitar
Pat Bailey – Bass
Steve Haney – Percussion
Te'Amir Yohannes Sweeney – Percussion
Dexter Story – Drums
DJ set by Egon
Eothen Alapatt, aka Egon, was Stones Throw Records’ general manager from 2000 until 2011. Alongside art director Jeff Jank and producer Madlib, he came on board when founder Peanut Butter Wolf moved the label from San Francisco to Los Angeles. During his tenure at Stones Throw, he oversaw the label’s transformation from a boutique hip-hop imprint to a globally-renowned bastion of good music; from 2001 until 2010 he produced, A&Red or managed the majority of Stones Throw’s albums – including Madlib and DOOM’s Madvillainy, J.Dilla’s Donuts and Aloe Blacc’s Good Things.
The success of Egon’s first Stones Throw anthology, 2001’s The Funky 16 Corners, inspired him to found his own label, Now-Again. Now-Again’s original mission was to focus on similar reissues of regional American funk and soul. Funk bands such as the L.A. Carnival, Ebony Rhythm Band, Kashmere Stage Band and Amnesty have seen their music released on the label. But, in recent years, Egon has taken Now-Again on a journey across the world, tracking down artists, brokering licenses and issuing anthologies of what he terms “psych-funk” from countries as varied as India (Atomic Forest) Indonesia (Those Shocking Shaking Days), Zambia (Rikki Ililonga and Musi-O-Tunya, WITCH, etc.) and Iran (Kourosh Yaghmaei).
Egon has also taken more to new artist development and signings on Now-Again, with bands such as Seu Jorge and Almaz, Malcolm Catto’s Heliocentrics, the Whitefield Brothers, Karl Hector and The Malcouns, Chop and Dimlite. Now-Again also represents catalogs that range from Nigerian fuzz-funk to Swedish hard rock to Brasilian psychedelia to the jazz, funk, soul and disco that Now-Again is known for. Drawing from these resources of clearable samples , Now-Again also releases limited edition “library” releases of music by the likes of Oh No, Maker and Cook Classics made specifically for television and film use.
Egon is the creative director of the J. Dilla Estate, is partners with Madlib in Madlib Invazion, a production company and label known for issuing the Freddie Gibbs Piñata album and Madlib Medicine Show series, and partners with Johan Kugelberg in Sinecure Books, an independent publishing house dedicated to producing books and records of 20th/21st Century popular art, music, and photography. He is a published writer, and writes most of the liner notes for Now-Again’s releases. He most recently published a column, Funk Archaeology, for NPR and Red Bull Music Academy.