pharoah sanders is spiritual jazz, is devotional music, is the greatest living link between john coltrane, kamasi washington, and the next generation of this great lineage. his tenor sound, his singing voice, his compositions, and his recordings have already stood the test of time, in his time, endured, ever-aged so finely, and have now (in my opinion) surpassed critique. pharoah sanders is a giant, an innovator, colorful, prayerful, and worthy of all our attention, celebration, and enthusiastic, even ecstatic accolades!
recorded on september 10, 1964, prior to his well-known association with john coltrane, this eponymous album (later renamed pharoahs first) is the debut release of the iconic tenor saxophonist. (yes, there are some spelling oddities here: the artist birth name ferrell only later changed the spelling from the standard pharaoh to the more personalized pharoah.) with one foot in mainstream jazz – pianist jane getz had played with charles mingus and the other, tentatively at times, in the avant-garde, this is a fascinating glimpse of sanders’ style before he wielded the unremitting fierceness of his playing with coltrane and the modal mysticism of his later solo albums on impulse. interestingly, in recent years he has deployed a more polished version of this sort of vant-flavored bop, bringing his career full circle and strongly suggesting that the hybrid heard here was not due to any failure of nerve on his debut but rather was the cornerstone of his conception. esp-disk has issued this album under three different covers, for its 21st-century reissue on vinyl, we have chosen to use the second and most beautiful. it is augmented with liner notes by a current esp-disk’ artist, tenor saxophonist ras moshe burnett of the red microphone, who can be heard accompanying amina baraka on their eponymous 2017 release.
“spiritual jazz 7: islam - esoteric, modal and progressive jazz inspired by islam 1957 - 1988”, songs ancient and divine - the seventh volume of our acclaimed spiritual jazz series examines the influence and impact of islam on four decades of jazz innovation.
esoteric, modal and deep jazz vocals 1960-86 - the power of the human voice, especially when held in song, has long been known to be immensely influential, potent and emotive across all of humankind. when conveying a message, the spoken word - whether in speech, poetry or song - is infinitely more evocative than that of written. and when that message is voiced in the realm of jazz, amidst the open and dramatic freedom that only jazz can provide, the message can be all the more poignant.
madlibs been busy these last couple years. and while his recorded output always spans the gamut, he often returns to recurrent themes, spread across the genres that serve as home base ? or bases, as it were. 2010 will be an ambitious one for madlib and stones throw records, with his slate of 12 medicine show albums and mixes, his rap albums for the likes of strong arm steady, guilty simpson and med and a series of albums based around the now-defunct yesterdays new quintet?s ?spin off bands® that he introduced on the yesterdays universe album.
madlibs been busy these last couple years. and while his recorded output always spans the gamut, he often returns to recurrent themes, spread across the genres that serve as home base – or bases, as it were.
final song goes to the very heart of musics spiritual dimension by asking a number of musicians to select their ideal last song, either to serenade their final moments or to memorialize them after the fact. the participating artists deserve to be commended for their openness: theyre responding to one of the most personal questions one could ask. (several of those approached declined to take part- taboos are taboos, after all.)