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Baker's Dozen

Jazz Is My Religion: Idris Ackamoor’s Baker’s Dozen
Siobhan Kane , September 6th, 2023 09:49

In a sprawling Baker’s Dozen, longstanding jazz legend Idris Ackamoor tells Siobhán Kane about the way Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler, Bob Marley and more have inspired his life and work


Sun Ra – Nothing Is

The Pyramids evolved and came out of that same breath, Ra was the godfather. Ra has always been one of my favourite live bands. Few bands could come anywhere near… beside The Pyramids! It’s the live ritual, the pageantry, community. I am glad I got to see him a number of times when he was alive, and we shared alternate weekends in London in Cafe OTO, with Marshall Allen and Ra. They were great times. Marshall is a particular inspiration to me as well. Sun Ra was one of the pioneers of the Afro Futurism movement although he never defined himself as such. They are one of the most legendary outfits of this or any other world.

This album really highlights the Arkestra’s golden age, those iconic players like John Gilmore, Pat Patrick, and Marshall Allen. ‘The Exotic Forest’ and ‘Theme Of The Stargazers’ are two of my favourites on that record. I was more inspired by him than influenced, the difference was we lived in Africa. Ra and his band visited Egypt, but to live in Africa was unique to The Pyramids and helped to give us our identity. Ra and the Art Ensemble Of Chicago are part of our evolution, but we are different as well.