West Coast jazz mavericks, The Pyramids, led by their inspirational bandleader, Idris Ackamoor, return with a new album on Strut. Recorded in Max Weissenfeldt’s analogue Philophon studio in Berlin, ‘We Be All Africans’ is a sparkling set of Afro- jazz-funk fusions, from the infectious chants of the title track to the reflective “Epiphany” and the yearning, mournful future single, “Silent Days” featuring the brilliant vocals of Bajka. Hear the album’s title track below.
“We Be All Africans” is released 27th May 2016 on Strut Records on LP, CD & digital formats. Pre-orders are available now.
The Pyramids have been hand-picked by Floating Points to open the West Coast leg of their live tour. Dates below:
April 27th – Santa Ana, CA: Constellation Room
April 28th – Santa Cruz, CA: The Catalyst Club
April 29th – San Francisco, CA: Mezzanine
May 1st – Portland, OR: Doug Fir Lounge
May 3rd – Seattle, WA: Neumos
May 4th – Vancouver, BC: Celebrities Nightclub
Thanks to some inspired detective work by Art Yard Records, an intimate trio performance by Sun Ra in Rome in 1977, ‘In Some Far Place’, is receiving its first release for this year’s Record Store Day on April 16th. Recorded from the sound desk and mastered from original reels, the album features Sun Ra on piano and Moog, drummer Luqman Ali and occasional Arkestra vocalist Thomas Thaddeus in fine form, exploring Ra staples and revisiting some of the traditional jazz pieces from his early Chicago days. Tracks include the reflective ‘Trying To Put The Blame On Me,’ ‘Spontaneous Simplicity’ and the first Sun Ra version of ‘I Cover The Waterfront’ to ever be officially released. New sleeve notes come courtesy of the Arkestra’s Knoel Scott with cover design by Lewis Heriz.
Directly following the announcement of a forthcoming new album We Be All Africans for Strut, West Coast spiritual jazz legends Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids have been hand-picked to support Floating Points on the West Coast leg of their live tour. We can’t imagine a better pairing, and fans of mind-expanding jazz are in for a true treat.
See below for all Floating Points dates featuring Idris Ackamoor and The Pyramids. We Be All Africans will be released May 27th on CD, LP (w. CD included), digital and streaming formats. Pre-orders are available now.
Floating Points US Tour feat. Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids
The intoxicating sounds on Roger Bong’s Aloha Got Soul collection create a vivid mental picture of Hawaii in the 1970s, conjuring images of pristine waves, big hair, and life at an unhurried pace. It’s a place we want to be so badly that we cobbled together some vintage footage of the island, set to the lovely “Kona Winds” which appears on the album. Go get your board, we’ll go out and grab a tube.
Aloha Got Soul is out now on CD, 2LP (w. CD included) and digital formats.
Strut are proud to present the brand new studio album from West Coast jazz mavericks, The Pyramids, led by their inspirational bandleader, Idris Ackamoor.
Alto saxophonist Ackamoor first met Margo Simmons (flute) and Kimathi Asante (electric bass) whilst students together at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio where one of their teachers was renowned pianist, Cecil Taylor. After founding the band in Paris in 1972, performing in Holland and embarking on a “cultural odyssey” across Africa, the group recorded three independent albums (Lalibela in 1973, King Of Kings in 1974 and Birth / Speed / Merging in 1976) and became renowned for their striking live shows, mixing percussive, spiritual and space-age jazz with performance, theatre, and dance. After migrating to San Francisco to perform on the Bay Area arts scene, they disbanded in 1977 after a
final show at the UC Berkeley Jazz Festival.
Almost 30 years later, The Pyramids reunited unexpectedly following growing demand for their music from vinyl collectors and jazz fans and embarked on the first of many European tours featuring original members, as well as a fresh line-up including renowned percussionist Kenneth Nash. In 2012 the group signed to German label Disko B who released a new album, the freeform Otherworldly and all three albums from their rare back catalogue. Idris was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by DJ Gilles Peterson at his Worldwide Awards and The Pyramids were back, gaining a whole new legion of fans.
For their new album, We Be All Africans, the group traveled to Berlin to hunker down in Max Weissenfeldt’s analogue Philophon studio. The result is a sparkling set of Afro- jazz-funk fusions, from the infectious chants of the title track to the reflective “Epiphany” and the yearning, mournful future single, “Silent Days” featuring the brilliant vocals of Bajka. Weissenfeldt released the first fruits from the sessions, ‘Rhapsody In Berlin’ as a limited 45 during 2015 and the album features the full unedited version.
We Be All Africans will be released May 27th on CD, LP (w. CD included), digital and streaming and features superb illustrated artwork by Lewis Heriz. The album will be promoted in conjunction with Idris Ackamoor with a full touring programme via Planet Rock booking agency from Summer 2016. Pre-orders forWe Be All Africans are available now.
‘We Be All Africans’ is a message of survival. A message of renewal. A message that we are all brothers and sisters. We are all one family, the human family and we need one another in order to survive on this planet that we all share.
Ghanaian vocalist Pat Thomas and his all-star Kwashibu Area Band are setting out on an absolutely massive tour this summer. Performing material from last year’s self-titled album as well as highlights from throughout Thomas’ long career, this string of shows are an amazing opportunity to catch a living master of African highlife in the flesh. A highlight at last year’s Womex festival, the band will be taking their phenomenal live show across Europe from May.
The album Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band is out now on CD, 2LP (w. CD included) & digital formats.
Massive weekend in Hawaii! Marking the launch of new Strut compilation of Hawaiian soul / AOR rarities, ‘Aloha Got Soul’ and two years of the ‘Soul Time In Hawaii’ parties, DJ Roger Bong teams up with Red Light Radio for a major series of events in Honolulu this weekend. Red Bull Hawaii host an artist forum tonight (24th), tomorrow it’s the launch for the compilation at James After Beach Club and on 26th, it’s the big Soul Time In Hawaii night at Bevy with Mike Lundy and band live + DJs Psychemagick and the full Soul Time crew. And if you
can’t make it in person, it’s all featured on Red Light Radio: redlightradio.net
Aloha Got Soul is out now on CD, 2LP (w. CD insert) and digital formats.
Roger Bong’s ‘Aloha Got Soul’ blog, label and brand has been a driving force behind the newfound recognition for Hawaii’s incredible sun-drenched funk, disco, soul, and rock of the 1970s and 80s. Roger’s efforts to unearth and present underheard sounds from the islands have resulted in some incredible music receiving national attention for the first time.
With his expertly-curated Aloha Got Soul collection out this Friday, Roger has assembled a short DJ mix to give a taste of some of the sounds you’ve been missing out on. It’s not quite a ticket to Hawaii in the 1970’s, but it’s the next best thing.
Frankie Francis and Hugo Mendes of Sofrito are connoisseurs of vintage tropical dance sounds. The Mauritian séga genre explored on our Soul Sok Sega is a perfect match for their dusty, sun-drenched aesthetic, so we were thrilled when Francis, who also runs the vinyl dubplate and mastering facility The Carvery, offered to create a custom edit of one of our favorite tracks from the collection. His floor-friendly cut of Claudio’s “Bonom Chinois” is available for free download via our Bandcamp. Soul Sok Sega is available now on 2LP, CD & digital formats.
Outside of a small set of savvy listeners and Mauritian locals, traditional sega music (sometimes called “the blues of the Indian Ocean”) is a relatively new discovery. Our Soul Sok Sega collection provides an overview of one of the peak creative eras for the music in the 1970s. For further context, producer Percy Yip Tong and musician Menwar have graciously run through a brief history of the music as well as the instruments and rhythms that make up the foundation of the style. Menwar also performs an exclusive acoustic version of his ’70s rarity ‘Sega Lenoir’ recorded as Les Stardust.