Zion Roots

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
Gigi's last album was intriguing. But it's interesting that the Zion Roots project, obviously much closer to her heart and appearing on a smaller label, has the kind of power, both emotionally and musically, that she couldn't quite muster on that disc. In part, perhaps, it's because this doesn't try to be a stylistic crossover nor, in spite of the title, does it have anything to do with reggae. Indeed, the opening song, "Bati Bati," is traditional, although given a new polish -- but it keeps strong roots. There's a lot of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in here, although it's never a proselytizing album, nor a Christian album. Instead it's a love letter to Gigi's past, and ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
Gigi's last album was intriguing. But it's interesting that the Zion Roots project, obviously much closer to her heart and appearing on a smaller label, has the kind of power, both emotionally and musically, that she couldn't quite muster on that disc. In part, perhaps, it's because this doesn't try to be a stylistic crossover nor, in spite of the title, does it have anything to do with reggae. Indeed, the opening song, "Bati Bati," is traditional, although given a new polish -- but it keeps strong roots. There's a lot of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in here, although it's never a proselytizing album, nor a Christian album. Instead it's a love letter to Gigi's past, and through it a way to the future. To listen to "Ethiopia" or "Aba Alem Lemenea" is to understand that she feels this deeply. By using mostly Ethiopian musicians, the music remains grounded in the Horn of Africa, although it flies all over, thanks in large part to the percussion of Karsh Kale, and the instrumental offerings and production of Bill Laswell, who does the singer complete justice here. And Gigi herself has never sounded in better voice, or more passionate. At its best, this record creates its own dream-like world that pulls the listener in with its intensity. With this record, it's impossible to deny that Gigi is a complete artist.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/9/2003
  • Label: Network Germany
  • UPC: 785965105020
  • Catalog Number: 51050
  • Sales rank: 175,188

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Bati Bati (3:46)
  2. 2 Gela (6:08)
  3. 3 Alesema (7:27)
  4. 4 Monew Natana (5:12)
  5. 5 Embe Ashafergne (4:28)
  6. 6 Gole (6:03)
  7. 7 Aba Alem Lemenea (4:16)
  8. 8 Gedawo (4:41)
  9. 9 Lebaye (4:48)
  10. 10 Ethiopia (6:16)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Abyssinia Infinite Primary Artist
Bill Laswell Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards
Tony Cedras Acoustic Guitar, Accordion
Aiyb Dieng Percussion
Karsh Kale Percussion
Abegasu Kibrework Shiota Keyboards
Ejigayehu "Gigi" Shibabaw Vocals
Technical Credits
Robert Musso Engineer
Radu Marinescu Mastering
Chester Higgins Cover Image
Traditional Composer
Christian Scholze Executive Producer, Mastering
Roland Kopp Graphic Design
Jean Trouillet Liner Note Translation
Abegasu Kibrework Shiota Producer, Engineer
Franz Aumüller Graphic Design
Isabelle Jue Liner Note Translation
Ejigayehu "Gigi" Shibabaw Arranger, Composer, Producer
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