19–20 November 2016
‘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. – Idris Ackamoor
Baba Yaga's Hut are proud to present two live shows from legendary West coast intergalactic jazz mavericks, The Pyramids, led by their inspirational bandleader, Idris Ackamoor.
At the dawn of the 1970s, saxophonist Idris Ackamoor, flautist Margo Simmons and bassist Kimathi Asante were embedded in the radical artistic hotbed of Ohio's Antioch College. Idris Ackamoor had cut his teeth with Albert Ayler's alto player Charles Tyler in Los Angeles and had his own free jazz outfit called “The Collective” with Margo Simmons and three other Ohio musicians; Kimathi Asante had played in a handful of obscure acid rock bands before being tapped by Sonny Sharrock's “Brute Force” but like many of the musicians caught up in the gestalt at Antioch, it was under the tutelage of Cecil Taylor and participation in his 40 member Black Music Ensemble that Idris, Kimathi and Margo began to galvanize a vision of the free black music they would soon play as The Pyramids.
"With an arsenal of instruments ranging from kalimbas and a Guinean bolong to an electronic rhythm pad and a flashing toy megaphone, the band arrives for its two-day Oto residency with the apparent purpose of uniting everything that has gone before with whatever is to come. From wordless chants to modern (if rudimentary) raps, free blowing to tap dancing: it’s all the same to the Pyramids, everything co-existing as part of the same ecstatic celebratory ritual... the atmosphere is one of joyous, ageless and truly timeless communion." - Andrew Bowman, The Liminal (review of The Pyramids residency at Cafe OTO in 2012)
Young, vital and filled with an insatiable wanderlust, the trio set sail in 1972 for a year long cultural odyssey through the heart of Africa by way of the fertile expatriate cultures of Paris and Amsterdam. Kimathi suggested the name while they were in France: “The Pyramids”. The group liked its evocation of the symbolic monuments of African and Egyptian culture. Steadfast and timeless. After numerous performances throughout Holland and France the group headed for an amazing journey throughout Africa where they had the rare opportunity to study and play with Alhassan Ibrahim and the King's drummers of Tamale, Ghana. In Nairobi, Kenya the group made treks to the countryside to study, experience, and record the music of the Masai and Kikuyu tribes.