Free your spirit, heal your soul with AOMAWA, a reissue of the complete 1970s free jazz of Idris Ackamoor & the Pyramids
Jada Imani drops funky, soulful "JUBILEE II"; mejiwahn explores sunlit dreamscapes on "Beanna"; plus more from B. Hamilton, Chrissy, Crime, Rexx Life Raj, and Satya
ASTU’s interview, performance, and curated playlist hosted on Lower Grand Radio is now available to stream. In this special episode of White Crate, the gifted singer-songwriter talks about her work as co-founder of alt-art school Boyish, connecting with the multiverse of Bay Area music talent and sharing experiences and skills that budding musicians need to succeed and grow. It’s a great time. Listen now.
SPIRITUALLY HEALING SPACE JAZZ
“Music is everything to me, it’s also very much a part of my spiritual beliefs. It occupies a lot of my life, even in how I celebrate, how I worship; I worship with music. I conduct rituals on stage with my band, with community, with audience members. Music is about my life.”
— Idris Ackamoor in an interview with Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie Zine
Time travelers, spacetime benders, soul gardeners, psychonauts, and cosmonauts alike, take heed: British label Strut Records is back with another outstanding reissue, this time the complete 1970s recordings by SF avant-garde jazz ensemble the Pyramids led by saxophonist Idris Ackamoor. A four-LP box set, Aomawa: The 1970s Recordings compiles the group’s fully restored and remastered studio albums—Lalibela (1973), King of Kings (1974), Birth / Speed / Merging (1976)—as well as their live performance on KQED in 1975.
Originally founded by Ackamoor as part of free jazz pioneer Cecil Taylor’s Black Music Ensemble, the Pyramids persist as one of the Bay Area’s most significant participants in the long, rich Afrofuturist tradition most often associated with Sun Ra. This is space jazz knowingly made on planet Earth—conscious of African ancestors, conscious of Indigenous stewardship, conscious of the healing power of music when its makers are allowed to dance and create freely.
WELCOME TO THE PARTY
Oakland artist Jada Imani dropped JUBILEE II, a sequel EP to 2021’s JUBILEE. Once again produced by Will Randolph V, the new EP features four bite-size tracks of feel-good summertime hip hop and soul. “Rosa Parks” has been out for a minute and, in pure Jada fashion, has an undeniably great hook—given the theme of the song, you could say it makes the revolution irresistible. The artists have collaborated with Oaklandish to host a 60s-themed release party today at their downtown store.
Luxuriate in the pleasing eclectica that is Beanna, a lush, wistful, summertime sound collage. Sunlit dreamscapes pepper their way throughout, accompanied by a smooth, afternoon haze aftertaste. Oakland artist mejiwahn brings this beautiful project to life with an innovative sprinkling of sampling, vocals, an accompanying artful video to “Gully”, and a plethora of electronic and acoustic instrumentals. Showcasing a full lineup of collaborators and experimental styles, the production is robust, rhythmically interesting, and melodically essential for this summer’s listening.
— Elise Mills
“Good Foot” by B. Hamilton on Kentucky’s SofaBurn
rock, rock & roll, Oakland
Art Throb by Chrissy on Munich’s Permanent Vacation
house, electronic, breakbeat, San Francisco
“San Francisco’s doomed, just like LA
San Francisco’s doomed, all the kids say
San Francisco’s doomed, it's all in the air
San Francisco’s doomed, and we don't care”
San Francisco’s Doomed (1990) by Crime - reissued on local label Superior Viaduct
punk, rock, San Francisco
The Blue Hour by Rexx Life Raj
hip hop, Berkeley
Deep Blue by Satya
hip hop, r&b, Oakland
Here are our top show recommendations for the coming week:
[experimental] Roco Córdova, Agnes Martian, Dean Spunt — July 15 at Cone Shape Top
[metal] Hissing, Human Effluence, Succumb, Rawtopsy — July 16 at Elbo Room
[indie] Cat Power, Spellling, DJ Omar — July 17 at Stern Grove
[hip hop] LaRussell — July 17 at Brick & Mortar Music Hall
[rock] Haunt Me, Bestial Mouths, Parallel — July 18 at Elbo Room
[club] RECROOM! ft. MAKEROOM, Sheesh! Records, Fault Radio, Rental VHS, and YUNGERADRIAN — July 20 at Crybaby
[club] Juan Maclean (DJ set), Woo, DJames, Philco, DJ Cira — July 20 at F8
[experimental] Lonnie Holley — July 21 at the Lab