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R.I.P. Pharoah Sanders


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I saw him twice at the Bimhuis and he really kicked ass. He played the most intense version of his swinging You’ve Got To Have Freedom and danced on it with much joy. 
 

Pharoah has been accused of so many ugly things like being an angry player, not being able to improvise on scales etc. Awful. I love the guy and his playing. I still enjoy his contributions to Tranes and Don Cherry’s band so much. Karma and Black Unity are my two favorite Impulse! records and his recording of Ole on the Theresa Live record is nearly as good as the original by Trane (which says a lot). 
 

RIP mr. Sanders.

 

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10 minutes ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Karma is one of those gateway albums that you will sometimes see in a collection where there is not a lot of jazz.  Maybe people bought it for the cover art. It is an incredible album.  I don't think of it as jazz.    

RIP.

Interesting viewpoint.  RIP.  As a spiritual person, I feel the fact he left just after Trane's bday is PROFOUND.  It's funny because Analogue Productions is issuing Karma in their Impulse! series, Chad Kassem doesn't particularly like it and downtalks it as being too out, but people requested it.  For me, it's the furthest thing from "out" you can get.

Edited by CJ Shearn
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A favorite musician of mine, I was lucky to have heard him live four times. Two sets at the Vanguard were amazing.

May, 1989, Caravan of Dreams

October, 1992, Village Vanguard

April, 1999, Iridium

May, 2014, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

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RIP. I feel very fortunate to have seen him live twice - once at Dizzys and once at SFJazz - two of the best jazz concerts that I’ve attended.

It’s ironic that he got labeled as having an ugly sound.  I’d say it’s one of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard.

As far as the mid 60s stuff I prefer his work with Don Cherry to that with John Coltrane.

My fave of the Impulse albums is Deaf Dumb Blind - especially that cosmic interpretation of “Let Us Go into the House of the Lord”.

Of his later sideman appearances, gotta call out Franklin Kiermyer’s Solomon’s Daughter.

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May he RIP. Saw him in performance 3 or 4 times and each time, William Henderson was on piano. The first time would have been at a club in 1990. The last time was late in that decade at Horace Tapscott’s memorial concert. It’s a real shame that he has left us but at least he got increased profile and respect in more recent years.

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Losing our last link to Coltrane. Damn.

I got to see him perform quite a few times. Some shows were really good and others just OK. There were a couple of shows at the Regattabar where he gave his band way too much solo space. I seem to remember a 15 minute bass solo and another 5 minutes of Pharoah "playing" a ringing bowl.

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7 minutes ago, bresna said:

Losing our last link to Coltrane. Damn.

Still got Roy Haynes ! God bless Roy.

7 minutes ago, bresna said:

 and another 5 minutes of Pharoah "playing" a ringing bowl.

Ditto. First time I saw him he finished off his set with that - using some form of cloth, I recall. I had the feeling it was a sphere but you are probably right, a glass bowl/dish.

Edited by sidewinder
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(12) Pharoah Sanders - Easy To Remember - YouTube

...but oh so hard to forget.  Saw him just once as part of a tribute to Alice Coltrane here in PDX.  Real stage presence.   Oops, sorry 'bout the double post.  I'll just add that Sanders could do all kinds of things with his sax, but much like James Earl Jones it must've been tempting when you can slip into that VOICE OF GOD thing anytime you want.

Edited by danasgoodstuff
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2 hours ago, sidewinder said:

Still got Roy Haynes ! God bless Roy.

Ditto. First time I saw him he finished off his set with that - using some form of cloth, I recall. I had the feeling it was a sphere but you are probably right, a glass bowl/dish.

Yes, we still have Roy, who is a link to so many of the greatest ever (and is among the greatest himself!).  Let's not forget about Reggie Workman, too.

I saw Pharoah Sanders twice.  The first time was with his group with William Henderson, Nat Reeves and Joe Farnsworth.  I was (and still am) largely unfamiliar with his later work.  As such, perhaps, I was unprepared for how much fun the set was.  Yes, there was fiery intensity, but the sense of joy and warmth in his playing and stage presence really made an impression on me.

The second (and last) time I saw him was in Pittsburgh, where he shared the stage with Jimmy Cobb, Kenny Barron, Geri Allen, Jimmy Owens, Tineke Postma and Robert Hurst.  (Roger Humphries also joined in the proceedings some.)  When they played 'All Blues' with a quintet of Sanders, Owens, Barron, Hurst and Cobb, it was one of those moments where I couldn't believe I was there to witness it.

For as much avant-garde as I've heard live and on record, an album like 'Meditations' still challenges me, largely due to Pharoah's contributions.  Thank you for the music, Mr. Sanders, and rest in peace.

Edited by Justin V
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This one really hurts - not unexpected, based on rumblings about his health that have been circulating for several years, but still difficult. 

From his work with the Coltranes to his now-legendary run on Impulse, stopping at some very crucial junctures to commune with the likes of Don Cherry, the Jazz Composer's Orchestra, Sonny Sharrock, and countless others, Pharoah's legacy as a performer and conceptualist is formidable.

Regardless of what roses will be sent his way in the coming days, ranking among his greatest achievements must be his mastery of sound as a building block of jazz performance. I don't think that scholarship quite understands just how much this cat - kind of a paradigmatic enfant terrible - affected the vocabulary of this music. It's obvious from the recordings and any number of firsthand accounts that there was a Pharoah before Coltrane, but it's remarkable how Pharoah took the calculus of Coltrane and distilled it into a specific subset of ideas. 

Every time I listen to Meditations, I hear Coltrane - fleet, virtuosic, and somehow both larger than life and laborious - and then I hear Pharoah. Pharoah just got to it. A burst of sound suffices where a flurry of notes was formerly necessitated. Between his recognition of solo construction and his really unique grasp of compositional formats - minimalistic modal vamps, rubato balladry, and so on - Pharoah presaged both smooth jazz and the harshest European Free Improvisation. If that isn't a testament to an artistic life well lived, then I don't know what is. 

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