The Pyramids – Otherworldly
Listening to Otherworldly, the first release from this legendary US cosmic jazz collective since they disbanded in 1977, is – appropriately enough – a transportative experience. As they did in the 70s, the group still employ a combination of acoustic and live bass, alto sax, and a battery of esoteric African instruments: mbira, bolong, Egyptian sensemia harp. The music, accordingly, still reaches towards the kind of cosmic utopias that also drove peers like Sun Ra and the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
Inevitably, however, Otherworldly also projects the listener in the opposite temporal direction; its sound, even in terms of the recording approach, is startlingly similar to the Pyramids’ 70s output. In a contemporary context, it sounds more eccentrically psychedelic than ever; the result is an expansive, occasionally delirious maelstrom that will bewitch cosmic jazz aficionados and befuddle the uninitiated, in more or less equal measure.