The first release of Hailu Mergia & The Walias Band was released in 1975 on the group's own label. The cassette was recorded in a few hours at a hotel, but since then almost no one has heard it. The legendary band's first full-length album has been reissued by Awesome Tapes from Africa and is now available to listeners all over the world.
The Walias Band musicians were pioneers in creating modern jazz hits using Ethiopian classical and folk melodies. In the era of the musical revolution, they became the first group to publish albums with instrumental compositions, which at that time were considered commercially unprofitable. In addition, they looked for funds to perform on their own and even set up their own recording studio.
The Tezeta album is a fascinating journey for those who are looking for unique funk rhythms and original jazz interpretations of the most difficult pieces, performed by pianist Hailu Mergia. The sensuality and ingenuity of these recordings breaks through the crackle of the record and other sonic imperfections. Traditional Ethiopian songs, reinterpreted by the group in an instrumental format, became a model for the genre for decades to come.