Praful's first US release, One Day Deep, was a bit of a surprise success with the American Smooth/Contemporary Jazz crowd. With sales of over 100,000 records and the big radio hit, "Sigh," American audiences proved that they are, indeed, receptive to new and fresh ideas. Following up on that success is Pyramid In Your Backyard, twelve tracks that blend European Chill, Contemporary Jazz, Brazilian and African rhythms, and Eastern musical flavors.
With the exceptions of some of the lyrics, all the tracks on this album were written and produced by Praful, Roberto Adani and Daniel Wolf (Adani and Wolf). Praful performs on a number of instruments including soprano and tenor sax, flute, bamboo flute, guitar, keys, piano and Fender Rhodes, as well as vocals. Other musicians lending their talents to this project are Adani, Wolf, Sandhya Sanjana, Katia Moraes, Sudha, Afra Mussawisade, Rene Dissel, Martin Denev, Seigne M. Gueye, Rasiko and David Rothschild.
The CD begins with the soprano sax-driven "Moon Glide," a fun track with a bit of a Film Noir flavor. "Says Kabir" is an interesting blend of atmospheric ambience and African percussion under Eastern flavored vocals, bamboo flute and tenor sax. Step out on the dance floor with the Brazilian rhythms of "Acredite," then sit back and relax to the musically eclectic "April Seven."
The tenor sax and acoustic guitar lend a nice Contemporary Jazz flavor to a mellow Brazilian groove on "Eternity." Slightly understated African rhythms mixed with a stong Chill beat, acoustic guitar and flute set the mood for the delightful "Hand-Cart Puller." Praful handles the lead vocals - sounding more than a little like a young Sting - on the spiritual, engaging "Naked," which also contains some beautiful soprano sax solos.
The brief, very ambient "Azul" serves almost as a prelude to "Drop To The Ocean," a beautiful, moody Chill track featuring some great Jazz tenor sax work by Praful. "Wishful Walk," another track where Chill meets Jazz, features Praful on tenor and soprano sax, David Rothschild on trombone and Rasiko on guitar. "Ponto De Partida" has a heavy Eastern mystical flavor blended with Western rhythms and Chill ambience. Closing the CD is the beautiful, soulful, rhythmically complex "We Live On," highlighted once again by Praful's silk-toned tenor sax.
If you like a little musical exploration into the limitless possibilities of creating, manipulating, and blending acoustic and electronic sounds into music, or if you just like to listen to something a little different some of the time, check out Pyramid In Your Backyard.
- Elizabeth Ware