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LIVE REVIEWS

Pharoah Sanders at SFJAZZ

Read "Pharoah Sanders at SFJAZZ" reviewed by Harry S. Pariser

Pharoah Sanders SFJAZZ San Francisco, CA September 22, 2017 As a senior statesmen of the saxophone, Pharoah Sanders requires no introduction to jazz afficianados. Nor is he a stranger to San Francisco's jazz scene: He has lived just across the bay, having resided in jny: Oakland after high school. Chances these days to see this Bay Area legend on his home turf are few and far between, so his appearance at SFJAZZ, where he headlined ...

IN PICTURES
LIVE REVIEWS

Pharaoh Sanders at SFJAZZ

Read "Pharaoh Sanders at SFJAZZ" reviewed by Harry S. Pariser

Pharoah Sanders SFJAZZ San Francisco, CA January 9, 2014 Pharoah Sanders is hardly a stranger to jny: San Francisco. Residing just across the Bay Bridge in jny: Oakland, the 74-year-old saxophonist has performed in the city on numerous occasions, including a solo gig at Grace Cathedral for SFJAZZ some years back. For this performance, SFJAZZ brought him back for a four-night gig, this time at its own hall and in the company of three seasoned ...

REASSESSING

Pharoah Sanders: Thembi

Read "Pharoah Sanders: Thembi" reviewed by Chris May

Pharoah SandersThembiImpulse!1971 It is strange that two of the most striking albums made by saxophonist Pharoah Sanders during the first flush of late 1960s/early 1970s astral jazz have been so often overlooked in reissue series. Tauhid (Impulse!, 1967)--the recording which launched astral jazz, the style Sanders fashioned alongside harpist/pianist Alice Coltrane--and Thembi have been available only intermittently during the last 20 years. Tauhid is unalloyed bliss from start ...

REASSESSING

Pharoah Sanders, Hamid Drake, Adam Rudolph: Spirits

Read "Pharoah Sanders, Hamid Drake, Adam Rudolph: Spirits" reviewed by Chris May

Pharoah Sanders, Hamid Drake, Adam RudolphSpiritsMeta2000 Following the death of saxophonist John Coltrane in 1967, two of his band members, pianist/harpist Alice Coltrane and saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, aligned themselves to fashion--separately and together--music which became known as “astral jazz." The style foregrounded the African and Asian song forms, and percussion and drone instruments, which John Coltrane had explored during his final years, while favoring lyrical, leisurely improvisations in place of the intense, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Pharoah Sanders: Crescent with Love

Read "Pharoah Sanders: Crescent with Love" reviewed by Chris May

Pharoah Sanders Crescent with LoveEvidence1994 Saxophonist Pharoah Sanders worked extensively in John Coltrane's bands from 1965 until Coltrane's passing in 1967. At the time of making this tribute album, Sanders probably knew Coltrane and his music better than anyone outside of Coltrane's surviving wife, harpist/pianist Alice Coltrane, and members of his classic quartet, pianist McCoy Tyner and drummer Elvin Jones.

There is something quietly significant then in the ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Pharoah Sanders: Tauhid

Read "Pharoah Sanders: Tauhid" reviewed by Chris May

> Pharoah Sanders Tauhid Verve 1967

Conventional wisdom has it that saxophonist Pharoah Sanders' signature, late-1960s astral jazz recording is “The Creator Has A Master Plan" from Karma (Impulse!, 1969). But conventional wisdom is rarely to be trusted. Clocking in at an unhurried and mesmerising 32:45, “Master Plan" is certainly definitive Sanders of the time; yet “Upper Egypt And Lower Egypt," from Sanders' own-name Impulse! debut, Tauhid, recorded in November, 1966, is arguably ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Pharoah Sanders: Pharoah Sanders: The Impulse Story

Read "Pharoah Sanders: The Impulse Story" reviewed by Chris May

Pharoah Sanders began his recording career as a fully paid-up, card-carrying member of the extreme fringe of the mid-'60s new wave. His first album, in 1964, was for ESP-Disk, a tiny but influential independent run by sonic ninja Bernard Stollman, who was also an early champion of Albert Ayler (he recorded Ayler's world-changing Spiritual Unity and Bells albums in 1964 and 1965).

In 1965, John Coltrane began regularly calling on Sanders to augment his late-period outer-reaches band. Sanders is one ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Pharoah Sanders: Pharoah's First

Read "Pharoah Sanders: Pharoah's First" reviewed by Clifford Allen

Pharoah Sanders Pharoah's First ESP-Disk 2005 (1964)

Hindsight can work wonders on the perception of a jazz musician's career, which makes it an exceptionally valuable tool to look at that artist's early recordings. Through the historian's lens, we can find snippets of what is to come in that first solo, a young-but-confident blueprint of artistic trajectory as well as some startling differences. Jazz Advance, for example, paints Cecil Taylor as a bizarrely-shaped branch of ...

REASSESSING

Pharoah Sanders: Karma

Read "Pharoah Sanders:  Karma" reviewed by Trevor MacLaren

Pharoah Sanders Karma Impulse! 1969

John Coltrane left behind a legacy of experimental and extremely spiritual work whose timeless quality still reverberates today. After his untimely death many poseurs came out to stake their claim as the next Coltrane. Many tried and many failed. Then in 1969 a former sideman of Coltrane's, Pharoah Sanders, stepped out from the shadow of his mentor and recorded Karma, which bore the soul of Coltrane's musical ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Pharoah Sanders: Pharoah

Read "Pharoah" reviewed by Rex  Butters

Recorded in 1964, the same year as Gods on Safari, his Sun Ra recording, and months before Ascension, his first with Coltrane, Pharoah's First pictures the legendary saxophonist Pharoah Sanders at the threshold of his historic and still startling cosmic operettas with John Coltrane. It was originally released on LP as two sidelong jams and has been reissued here as part of the ESP reactivation series with insightful interviews.

Both tracks feature a hard swinging bebop quartet, and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Pharoah Sanders: Pharoah

Read "Pharoah" reviewed by Trevor MacLaren

With Bernard Stollman opening up the ESP vaults, jazz fans find themselves privy to some of jazz's most interesting and eclectic recordings remastered for the first time. Among the initial remasters is one of ESP's first releases, Pharoah's First, recorded in 1964.

This record has always been a thorn in the discography of saxophonist Pharoah Sanders. The playing is solid, but his legendary ripping chops are extremely subdued, making this disc seem out of place. Not to mention the fact ...