- Zephyrus Records, W.E.R.F.
For this album debut by Black Flower, the Ethio-jazz project of and around saxophonist Nathan Daems, we were already waiting since heard the five tracks on their self-titled EP from 2013. For 'Abyssinia Afterlife' Daems drew inspiration from the legend of Prester John (see also Tommy T's 'The Prester John Sessions' and be sure to read the crazy story behind the album on Black Flower's website) and that resulted in an album that sounds like a feverish LSD-trip through the streets of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa (something yours truly also wrote about Dub Colossus' 'In A Town Called Addis'). But 'Abyssinia Afterlife' exceeds the boundaries of Ethio-jazz: in songs like 'Upwards' (featuring Smokey Hormel's splendid guitar playing) or 'Again I Lost It' Dengue Fever's psychedelic Cambodian rock is not far away and Wouter Haest keyboard sounds are at times reminiscent of the work of The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek ('I Threw A Lemon At That Girl', together with 'Winter' the only song from the EP also featured on 'Abyssinia Afterlife'). Black Flower only serves up nine songs on 'Abyssinia Afterlife', but with several compositions lasting more than five minutes, this album will certainly not leave you feeling unfulfilled.
Gatefold sleeve. Printed innersleeve.