The Pyramids’ album King of Kings was the second album that reunited all original members while adding several special guests. Margo, Kimathi, and myself had left the original drummer, Donald Robinson, in Europe while we traveled, lived, and studied in Africa. Upon our return to Antioch College and Yellow Springs, Ohio we continued our musical odyssey with new collaborators for our first album Lalibela. These collaborators included percussionist Bradie Speller (Hekaptah), drummer Marcel Lytel, and soprano saxophonist Tony Owens (Masai). Several months after the recording Donald returned to America and came to Yellow Springs. This was a great development for the band, and we instantly renewed our musical connection and rehearsed new compositions.
King of Kings may be my favorite album. Although The Pyramids was a very family and collaborative band, for this production I really began my life as a composer writing the compositions.
The first album, Lalibela, recouped the pressing and recording costs, which allowed for another investment in our second one. After rehearsing some months and performing the material “live” at Kelly Hall on Antioch College campus as well as other venues we booked a recording date. This time we upgraded the recording studio. Lalibela was recorded in a friend’s living room on a 4-track recorder, while King of Kings was recorded in an excellent 16-track recording studio. The name of the studio was Appalachia Sound Recording Studio located several hours away from Antioch in Chillicothe, Ohio. Unknown to us at the time, Chillicothe was the site of ancient Indian burial mounds. This reality added to the very spiritual quality of the recording.
We added several guest artists for the session including pianist Jerome Saunders and cellist Chris Chafe. We recorded the album in one day driving there, recording, and then driving back to Antioch late at night. There were spirits in that recording studio! I remember a feeling of spiritual strength while we were recording! Images and sounds reverberating off the walls!