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They Play To Make Fire
Monday, 16.12.2013, 20:20
oh what a night...
The Pyramids (USA)
With their first album in 35 years they make you a believer in a second life. It's the out-of-this galaxy cd «Otherwordly» (2013) and on it, they present the kind of music that makes «the soul burst from the body» (I.A.).
Founded in the early 70s by their current leader Idris Ackamoor, they could be described as a freestyle, futuristic, afro-psychedelic, street funk, collective theatre jazz band. The 70's, everybody knows, was a time when plenty went down, politically and culturally and foremost, new ways of living and loving were on the menu and The Pyramids were definitely deeply rooted into that period. And criminally neglected for sure, because despite being labeled copies of the Sun Ra Arkestra and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, they were actually» of the same breath» (I.A).

Again, it was a time when almost everybody was pushing the envelope, longing for the new while categorically dismissing the old. In music it was John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor from one angle and from another, it was Miles with «On The Corner», Jimi Hendrix, Parliament Funkadelics, James Brown and Sun Ra. And Curtis Mayfield was more than a «Superfly» on the wall and Sly was just being Sly, of course. The band met originally at the very progressive Antioch College in Ohio where Cecil Taylor was a visiting professor and knowing him, he undoubtedly left his mark in more ways than one. On a stipendium, they were able to travel to and roam Africa for a year, not just inhaling her music but getting influenced by her eons-old tradition that music should be theatre as well. From that time, three rare Pyramid recordings «Lalibela» (1973), King of Kings (1974) and Birth/Speed Merging (1976), are now available in the triple set «They Play To Make Fire».  

Firemakers, clairvoyant trailblazers, buoyant and extroverted. And at a time when the term «worldmusic» was no more than a greedy gleam in a record exec's eye («What are we gonna call  t h i s  shit?»). We fondly recall those turbulent times - some of us are children of it and for mostly better than worse and we're proud to present this magnificent band's second life to you. So spread the word, cram the joint while an alternative universe is invading the stage. By the way, remember, when the term BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL was born? It still is.

You may like Sun Ra, Roland Kirk, even Alice Coltrane or Fela Kuti - but what you have to really hear are The Pyramids (Berliner Zeitung).
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