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the Pyramids first album, recorded in Yellow Springs, Ohio in 1973. It was recorded in Ohio, yes, but band leader Idris Ackamoor grew up in Southside Chicago, & this album was recorded after the core of the band had made an extended trip to Africa, & these facts give a better idea of where this music is coming from. The Chicago thing is happening in that this is definitely informed by the AACM approach, especially the Art Ensemble. The African thing is probably the more important element, though, with fairly dense percussion & chant-like group vox at the heart of the music. Also, the concepts or themes behind the songs are African in inspiration, as well as some of the less conventional instruments. But certainly, this is not African music, or even an attempt to imitate African music, but its really a sort of Afro-centric post avant jazz, which of course was a major current in jazz at that time, with everyone from Coltrane to Sun-Ra working in that mode at least occasionally. But the Pyramids were a local group, & their playing is a little simpler than most of the name jazz players at the time, & the ensemble seems to be informed by rock & R&B energy, not in the backwards way that most high-end jazz musician tacked rock onto their strictly jazz backgrounds, but in a more natural way. All this is good, & all of this has made the Pyramids records into classics of underground black music, a sort of DIY version of the worlds the Art Ensemble, Pharoah Sanders, Sun Ra, Don Cherry, numerous others were exploring, but with a young energy & homey feel that sets it apart from the better known works in the oeuvre.