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Pharoah Sanders

Pharoah Sanders possesses one of the most distinctive tenor saxophone sounds in jazz. Harmonically rich and heavy with overtones, Sanders' sound can be as raw and abrasive as it is possible for a saxophonist to produce. Yet, Sanders is highly regarded to the point of reverence by a great many jazz fans. Although he made his name with expressionistic, nearly anarchic free jazz in John Coltrane's late ensembles of the mid-'60s, Sanders' later music is guided by more graceful concerns. The hallmarks of Sanders' playing at that time were naked aggression and unrestrained passion. In the yearsafter Coltrane's death, however, Sanders explored other, somewhat gentler and perhaps more cerebral avenues — without, it should be added, sacrificing any of the intensity that defined his work as an apprentice to Coltrane. Pharoah Sanders (his given name, Ferrell Sanders) was born into a musical family

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Santi Debriano: Flash of the Spirit

Read "Flash of the Spirit" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Bassist/composer Santi Debriano has been prominently on the scene since the late seventies, when he worked for several years with saxophonist Archie Shepp. Born in Panama, and raised in Brooklyn from a very young age, his life was integrated with the many crosscurrents of jazz music in the Americas. He worked prominently with Sam Rivers in ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Alex Clarke: She Does It Her Way

Read "Alex Clarke: She Does It  Her Way" reviewed by Chris May

Coming up fast behind the school of British saxophonists who emerged around 2015 is a younger group of players who are just beginning to get noticed. Among them is Alex Clarke, who was a finalist in Britain's public service broadcaster, the BBC's biannual Young Jazz Musician competition in 2020. In the televised final in November, Clarke ...

Live In Paris (1975)

Label: Transversales Disques
Released: 2020
Track listing: Side One: Love Is Here Part 1; Love Is Here Part 2; Farrell Tune. Side Two: The Creator Has A Master Plan; I Want To Talk About You; Love Is Everywhere.

Pharoah Sanders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Feed Your Head

Read "Pharoah Sanders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums To Feed Your Head" reviewed by Chris May

Fellow tenor-wielding sonic adventurer Albert Ayler famously described his own and Pharoah Sanders' relationships with their mentor John Coltrane thus: “Trane was the Father, Pharoah was the Son, I am the Holy Ghost." The epigram goes some way to capturing the scorched-earth ferocity of much, though not all, of Sanders' music in the 1960s. But Ayler ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Nat Birchall Sextet: Exaltation / Live In Athens Vol 1

Read "Exaltation / Live In Athens Vol 1" reviewed by Chris May

The saxophonist Nat Birchall is, alongside his friend the trumpeter Matthew Halsall, one of the instigators of the spiritual jazz scene centred around the northern British city of Manchester, two hundred miles and a lifestyle north of London. Birchall self-released his debut album, The Sixth Sense, in 1999. John Coltrane, Yusef Lateef, Pharoah Sanders and Alice ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Chris May’s Best Releases Of 2020

Read "Chris May’s Best Releases Of 2020" reviewed by Chris May

Not the best year for live gigs in London, but Dele Sosimi's Afrobeat Orchestra just made it under the wire, lighting up the Jazz Cafe in late January. Rather like Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Sosimi's band has form as an incubator of young talent. A recent star in the making was trumpeter Ife Ogunjobi, who has ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Albert Ayler: Albert Ayler 1965: Spirits Rejoice & Bells Revisited

Read "Albert Ayler 1965: Spirits Rejoice & Bells Revisited" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Being that 2020 is more than half a century since Albert Ayler (1936-70) recorded this music, the best way to approach might be through what the Zen Buddhists call Shoshin. Roughly translated as “beginner's mind," or the ability to experience things as if for the first time. Since we cannot transport ourselves back to 1965, taking ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

New Organ Combos - Dr. Lonnie Smith, Organissimo, Deep Blue Organ Trio and More

Read "New Organ Combos - Dr. Lonnie Smith, Organissimo, Deep Blue Organ Trio and More" reviewed by Russell Perry

In 1956, Jimmy Smith created the organ trio featuring organ, guitar and drums. Soon thereafter, his quartets with Lou Donaldson and Stanley Turrentine defined the organ—saxophone quartet sound. Today, these traditions live on and, although the instrumentation may vary slightly, the debt to Jimmy Smith's pioneering soul jazz trios and quartets is persistent. Playlist ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Matthew Halsall: A New Dawn

Read "Matthew Halsall: A New Dawn" reviewed by Chris May

After five years without the release of any newly recorded material, the British trumpeter and composer Matthew Halsall has returned in winter 2020 with a fresh new band and a sparkling new album, Salute To The Sun, on his Gondwana Records label. It is more than good to have him and his music back.


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