Jump to content

R.I.P. Pharoah Sanders


Hardbopjazz
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 74
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

9 hours 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.

It made the Billboard Top 200 album charts, as did Thembi.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a so-so/in & out relationship to his Impulse! work; some I love, some I like, some neither. But Coltrane’s 1965-67 music is the center of my universe and Pharoah had a considerable part in making it what it is. His solo on “Naima” from Live At The Village Vanguard Again! is just otherworldly. What he accomplished in that music burned at a heat light equal to Trane’s cataclysmal vision quest and has, in some way, never been matched in this music. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

44 minutes ago, colinmce said:

His solo on “Naima” from Live At The Village Vanguard Again! is just otherworldly.

That's the first Pharaoh I heard...some compilation record, on the radio. I can't remember where, but yes. Immediately riveting connection, amazement, and fascination that has yet to cease. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I want to say, that his "Life at the East" was one of the handful of records I had in my still very small collection right at the beginning of my jazz career. I told you on more than one occasions that the second so called "jazz" I heard at maybe 14,15 years was the Mingus Thing with Dolphy in Paris 64, and that opened me up for more of the so called avantgarde stuff, starting with Ornette and Trane and maybe my 4th or 5th own record was the mentioned "Live at the Village Vanguard Again". So I think among my first 10 jazz albums was that Pharoah Sanders "Live at the East", because I saw it at my record dealer. So you can imagine what meaning it has to me since about 50 years. Even my mother (born 1921) heard it and LOVED it ! 

The last time I saw Mr. Sanders live was a few years ago, in 2016,17 or so. He still had some power left for a wonderful performance but I was in sorrow seeing that he obviously had difficulties to walk and after soloing he often hold his hand to his chest, obviously in pain and discomfort. 

One thing I really regret is that on that last occasion I had my old album with me and made up my mind to try to meet him for telling him how young I was when I started to love and admire him. But imagine, at the 57,58 years I was old I was too shy to ask to meet him, I was sure he would not be approachable....later dudes from here told me that it wouldn´t have been that way and he would have been nice and would have appreciated my praise and admiration for him. 

Does anybody know more about his physical condition and the cause of death ? 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm probably too old to have musical heroes but Pharaoh was one and possibly the last living one.

Such great music through all those Impulses and beyond. 

I was pleased that in his later years he continued to reach new audiences. Many plays of the Floating Points collaboration in the last hours I suggest, and for many that will be the gateway.  The music lives on.

11 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

For whatever reason he really cut through in the last five years. He and Sun Ra (Philly era) are the face of jazz to a lot of younger people I know.

Absolutely this, such a great thing to see

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, JSngry said:

Pharaoh's passing is being noted on the CNN main page right now, which to me is an indicator that he had more penetration into the general public's consciousness than many others of his generation. 

Here in the UK, Pharoah’s death featured on BBC radio 4 news throughout Saturday. I can’t remember any US jazzman getting this coverage in recent years. 
 

I am pleased to have seen him a number of times. The most memorable was a Central Park summer stage concert maybe 15 years back where he seemed to be having a lot of fun once he warmed up. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

One thing I really regret is that on that last occasion I had my old album with me and made up my mind to try to meet him for telling him how young I was when I started to love and admire him. But imagine, at the 57,58 years I was old I was too shy to ask to meet him, I was sure he would not be approachable....later dudes from here told me that it wouldn´t have been that way and he would have been nice and would have appreciated my praise and admiration for him. 

 

Almost exactly the same experience here! I was 17 years old or something like that when I saw him perform at the Bimhuis. I had a copy of Black Unity in my jacketpocket I’m case I would have the opportunity to ask for an autograph. When I entered the Bimhuis restaurant I immediately saw Pharoah eating there with his band. I must have been standing there for 15 minutes considering if I would approach him or not. But he looked like he wasn’t really accessible with that grey beard and deep frown so I decided not to. I still regret it till this moment.

But I’ve learned from it as I let Chico Freeman sign my copy of Spirit Sensitive 2 weeks ago :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saw him at the Philly Jazz club 'Just Jazz' in the 70's, just after the Elevation album had been released.  He and the club manager were not seeing eye to eye on set length, so while the music was great, it wasn't a wonderful experience.  Pharoah was one angry, sulking guy that night, as was his bass player, who remained on the stage and played a long solo, glaring at the manager, after the rest of the group walked off.  Saw pre "Breezin" George Benson there around the same time, and that went better. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw him several times, mainly at Catalina's in LA, but I was also at that Horace Tapscott Tribute show that sidewinder mentioned (well, if it was the same one, at Washington High School, that started as a fundraiser for Tapscott's medical bills, then it was announced that he had passed, then it became a tribute and celebration.)

Sanders at the point I saw him was playing in a way that i could bring non-jazz people to see and they would get totally it (we're talking late 90s, early 2000s).  Each set was really a full performance, intensity and beauty, the church with "Creator Has a Master Plan" and a meditative spiritual ending with the circling of the bowl and it making that beautiful tone.  The audience would be fully there, totally silent for the note from the bowl and its slow decay.  There was an 80th birthday celebration for him last year, and I'm sorry I missed it.  I really found his live shows (especially with William Henderson on piano and Alex Blake on bass) to be magical. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, Washington High School fundraiser that turned overnight into a memorial concert. As I recall, he had his quartet with him that day. Other tribute performances were by Bobby Bradford and Vi Redd, that I can particularly recall, as well as an expanded Arkestra at the end. The other thing I recall is that Gerald Wilson and his family were sat right behind me.

Edited by sidewinder
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I stumbled over this New York Times (John S. Wilson) review of a January 1978 concert in which the centerpiece was a suite composed by Slide Hampton for Sanders and scored for a 13-piece ensemble. That's enticing to say the least. Does anybody know anything about this? I only see one record date in the Lord discography on which Sanders and Hampton appeared together -- a December 1978 quintet session under Hilton Ruiz's name for Denon, "Fantasia," for which the pianist wrote all the music. Did Slide ever document this Sanders-related suite or did Pharoah record a version without Hampton on the date?  https://www.nytimes.com/1978/01/28/archives/pharoah-sanders-and-an-ensemble.html

Edited by Mark Stryker
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not much to add other than thanks for being here and doing what you did.

I agree with Shizuka -- there might be something to the fact that Pharoah passed the day after Coltrane's birthday. Seeing him with Bartz, Tolliver, Nasheet Waits et al. right before the pandemic was mighty fine. He seemed to be having a great time and played long solos with a lot of fire. Glad I got to experience that.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And this is one I always thought of as "Pharoah Dances".   IMG-0462.jpg

So glad I got to see him live.  Saw him a few years before with McCoy Tyner but it was great to see him with his own group. 

 

Is it possible that "Promises", his last recording (the one with Floating Point) was his biggest "hit"? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, medjuck said:

And this is one I always thought of as "Pharoah Dances".   IMG-0462.jpg

So glad I got to see him live.  Saw him a few years before with McCoy Tyner but it was great to see him with his own group. 

 

Is it possible that "Promises", his last recording (the one with Floating Point) was his biggest "hit"? 

The Floating Points thing certainly got him a lot of coverage in the UK. Found it a bit drippy myself. Sanders’ ‘Focus’

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Listening to Pharaoh for the first time since his death.

I chose 'Thembi' and it strikes how that within the first two tunes 'Astral Travelling' and 'Red, Black & Green' we are presented with the very essence of his musical vision. Just a stunning combination. 

And then you get the irresistible groove of the title track...

Edited by mjazzg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, mjazzg said:

Listening to Pharaoh for the first time since his death.

I chose 'Thembi' and it strikes how that within the first two tunes 'Astral Travelling' and 'Red, Black & Green' we are presented with the very essence of his musical vision. Just a stunning combination. 

And then you get the irresistible groove of the title track...

"Thembi" is a very fine album, and along with "Karma" one of my favourites. But personally I will always stick to "Live at the East" also on Impulse! as my favourite, since it was my first Pharoah LP almost 50 years ago ! And by the way, it also has that irresistible groove on the first track. This kind of thing was Pharoah´s trademark ! 

It´s strange that Miles was so rude in his interview with Leonard Feather that when he was asked what Pharoah Sanders´  music says to him, he answered "It doesn´t say anything to me since Pharoah isn´t doin´ anything. 

This is really a quite dumb remark, since Miles was too astute to not have an open ear for all kinds of music. Well it was his "trademark" to diss others, but in my case not to his own advance, as much as I love Miles. 
I´d say, Pharoah´ message has also to do something with some religion. Being completly innocent when it comes to religions - I don´t have any - it was not en vogue in my youth or in the youth of my parents - , I still get some feeling here that something could be somewhere....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...