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Tommy T 

The Prester John Sessions (Easy Star)

Backbone of the Eastern Europe-via-NYC mania that is Gogol Bordello, Tommy T is a native of Ethiopia. It's his bass that gives the Gogols their go-go. Here he taps history for exotic echoes. Prester John was a Christian king in the Middle Ages whose own explorations inspire the album. "East-West Express" sets wild Nigerian horns against desert moan and a soulful groove. Setagne Satenaw masters the one-stringed, ear-opening massinqo. Even dub reggae acquires some extra ethnic aspect. Scholarly yes, but dancers will like it too.

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Vol 26, No 43
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