Praful - Pyramid In Your Backyard


In 2003 Rendezvous Entertainement, the label launched by Dave Koz, released Praful's second album "One Day Deep" in USA. This album was 70 weeks in the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. The reason was easily explained. It was often played on smooth jazz radio stations. Many listeners had difficulties to categorize Praful's music as smooth jazz. Certainly it is a crossover between world music and electronics. Some would call it chill out music.

It's symptomatic that smooth jazz is adapting more and more music influences as long it's grooving and pleasing mellow. In Europe chill out music is absolutely popular. Protagonists of this genre are Groove Amada, Kevin Yost, Kyoto Jazz Massive, Micatone, Sidewinder, Atjazz, Mr. Gone, Nicola Conte, Mo' Horizons, the list is long and endless.

Now Praful is back with his new album "Pyramid In Your Backyard". Praful describes the new album as "jazz meets electronica" with many world-music elements. "I found the title to be fitting because backyards are casual places often cluttered with people's belongings, while the pyramid stands for something deeper and spiritual. It is a symbol for a place inside us all, but we don't always connect to it. That's just like my music. It's casual and you can just hang out and have fun, but there is a deeper meaning to the music if you tune into it." 

Praful's music is quiet interesting for American listeners because he summarizes in his music the influences of his own life and European, Indian and African cultures. For example Moon Glide has a certain French touch by using the accordion and the gliding structure of Parisian chansons. Melting accordion, harmonium and saxophone in one song phrase is really impressing.

On Says Kabir he is mixing North African drums with electronica and Indian sing-sang (Sandhya Sanjana). Those who are familiar with Germany's electronic music will recognize elements of Can, Kraftwerk and Amon Düll.

How can we place such music in the American music market? We had to add a bit Brazilian music like Acredite and Ponto De Partida. Katia Moraes is a fantastic singer and Praful alienates her golden voice in his electonical witch's kitchen. If you like such Latin groove try out samplers like Brazilectro, Bossa Mundo, Barrio Latino, Brazil Remixed, Nu Brazil or Rio Lounge.

Praful spent 6 months in an Ashram in India. Do you remember the Beatles and Ravi Shankar? April Seven is somehow a product of this period. Heavy-hearted bansuri, sitar and Indian drums. Not easy to digest.

Eternity is the pure contrast to April Seven. A light Bossa featuring the singer Sudha. That fits into the smooth jazz radio format if radio-edited. Could be Matt Bianco.

A bit of Jethro Tull, Down To The Bones and Flamenco and you have Hand-Cart Puller. That's hard dancefloor stuff. 

You can also find a lot of esoteric on this album like Naked, Azul,  Drop To The Ocean, Wishful Walk and We Live On. The album slows down on the second half. Somehow there is also less tension. May be it's a question of personal mood, which part one prefers at which time.

Title: Pyramid In Your Backyard
Artist: Praful
Year: 2005
Length: 1:12:17
Genres: General Electronic, Smooth Jazz, Chill Out
Label: N-Coded Music

01 Moon Glide [4:44]
02 Says Kabir [7:18]
03 Acredite [6:10]
04 April Seven [5:56]
05 Eternity [5:44]
06 Hand-Cart Puller [6:21]
07 Naked [6:37]
08 Azul [2:15]
09 Drop To The Ocean [6:37]
10 Wishful Walk [6:36]
11 Ponto De Partida [7:58]
12 We Live On [6:03]

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