PHAROAH SANDERS

Avant-Garde Jazz / Post Bop / Soul Jazz / Fusion / World Fusion / RnB / African Fusion • United States
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Pharoah Sanders (born Farrell Sanders; October 13, 1940 – September 24, 2022) was an American jazz saxophonist. A member of John Coltrane's groups of the mid-1960s, Sanders was known for his overblowing, harmonic, and multiphonic techniques on the saxophone, as well as his use of "sheets of sound". He released over 30 albums as a leader and collaborated extensively with Leon Thomas and Alice Coltrane, among others. Saxophonist Ornette Coleman described him as "probably the best tenor player in the world".

Sanders' music has been called spiritual jazz due to his inspiration in religious concepts such as Karma and Tawhid, and his rich, meditative aesthetic. This style was seen as a continuation of Coltrane's work on albums such as A Love Supreme. As a result, Sanders was considered to have been a disciple of Coltrane or, as Albert Ayler said, "Trane was the Father, Pharoah was the Son, I am
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PHAROAH SANDERS Discography

PHAROAH SANDERS albums / top albums

PHAROAH SANDERS Pharaoh Sanders (aka Pharoah Sanders Quintet aka Pharaoh's First) album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
Pharaoh Sanders (aka Pharoah Sanders Quintet aka Pharaoh's First)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1965
PHAROAH SANDERS Tauhid album cover 3.98 | 13 ratings
Tauhid
Avant-Garde Jazz 1967
PHAROAH SANDERS Karma album cover 4.62 | 37 ratings
Karma
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
PHAROAH SANDERS Jewels of Thought album cover 3.93 | 12 ratings
Jewels of Thought
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
PHAROAH SANDERS Deaf, Dumb, Blind: Summun, Bukmun, Umyun album cover 3.90 | 12 ratings
Deaf, Dumb, Blind: Summun, Bukmun, Umyun
Avant-Garde Jazz 1970
PHAROAH SANDERS Thembi album cover 4.11 | 17 ratings
Thembi
Avant-Garde Jazz 1971
PHAROAH SANDERS Black Unity album cover 4.08 | 15 ratings
Black Unity
Avant-Garde Jazz 1972
PHAROAH SANDERS Wisdom Through Music album cover 3.62 | 4 ratings
Wisdom Through Music
Avant-Garde Jazz 1973
PHAROAH SANDERS Village of the Pharoahs album cover 3.57 | 7 ratings
Village of the Pharoahs
Avant-Garde Jazz 1973
PHAROAH SANDERS Izipho Zam album cover 3.63 | 7 ratings
Izipho Zam
Avant-Garde Jazz 1973
PHAROAH SANDERS Love in Us All album cover 3.94 | 8 ratings
Love in Us All
Avant-Garde Jazz 1974
PHAROAH SANDERS Pharoah album cover 4.07 | 7 ratings
Pharoah
Fusion 1977
PHAROAH SANDERS Love Will Find A Way album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Love Will Find A Way
RnB 1978
PHAROAH SANDERS Journey to the One album cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
Journey to the One
Post Bop 1980
PHAROAH SANDERS Rejoice album cover 4.12 | 4 ratings
Rejoice
Post Bop 1981
PHAROAH SANDERS Shukuru album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Shukuru
Soul Jazz 1985
PHAROAH SANDERS Oh Lord, Let Me Do No Wrong album cover 4.05 | 2 ratings
Oh Lord, Let Me Do No Wrong
Fusion 1987
PHAROAH SANDERS Africa album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Africa
Post Bop 1987
PHAROAH SANDERS A Prayer Before Dawn (with William Henderson) album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
A Prayer Before Dawn (with William Henderson)
Soul Jazz 1987
PHAROAH SANDERS Moon Child album cover 3.09 | 2 ratings
Moon Child
Post Bop 1990
PHAROAH SANDERS Welcome to Love album cover 3.67 | 3 ratings
Welcome to Love
Soul Jazz 1991
PHAROAH SANDERS Pharoah Sanders Quartet ‎: Crescent With Love album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Pharoah Sanders Quartet ‎: Crescent With Love
Post Bop 1993
PHAROAH SANDERS Message From Home album cover 3.14 | 2 ratings
Message From Home
African Fusion 1996
PHAROAH SANDERS Save Our Children album cover 3.92 | 4 ratings
Save Our Children
World Fusion 1998
PHAROAH SANDERS Pharoah Sanders & Graham Haynes ‎: With A Heartbeat album cover 3.06 | 4 ratings
Pharoah Sanders & Graham Haynes ‎: With A Heartbeat
World Fusion 2003
PHAROAH SANDERS Pharoah Sanders Quartet ‎: The Creator Has A Master Plan album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Pharoah Sanders Quartet ‎: The Creator Has A Master Plan
Post Bop 2003
PHAROAH SANDERS In the Beginning 1963-1964 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In the Beginning 1963-1964
Avant-Garde Jazz 2012

PHAROAH SANDERS EPs & splits

PHAROAH SANDERS Our Roots album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Our Roots
Soul Jazz 1996

PHAROAH SANDERS live albums

PHAROAH SANDERS Live at the East album cover 4.85 | 4 ratings
Live at the East
Avant-Garde Jazz 1972
PHAROAH SANDERS Elevation album cover 4.66 | 10 ratings
Elevation
Avant-Garde Jazz 1974
PHAROAH SANDERS Pharoah Sanders & Norman Connors ‎: Beyond A Dream album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Pharoah Sanders & Norman Connors ‎: Beyond A Dream
Fusion 1981
PHAROAH SANDERS Live album cover 4.07 | 3 ratings
Live
Avant-Garde Jazz 1982
PHAROAH SANDERS Heart Is a Melody album cover 3.05 | 2 ratings
Heart Is a Melody
Post Bop 1983
PHAROAH SANDERS Spirits album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Spirits
World Fusion 2000
PHAROAH SANDERS Juan Les Pin Jazz Festival 68 (aka  Live At Antibes Jazz Festival Juan-Les-Pins July 21, 1968) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Juan Les Pin Jazz Festival 68 (aka Live At Antibes Jazz Festival Juan-Les-Pins July 21, 1968)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2018
PHAROAH SANDERS Live in Paris (1975) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Paris (1975)
Post Bop 2020
PHAROAH SANDERS Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane – Antibes 68 / New York 71 : The Radio Broadcasts album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane – Antibes 68 / New York 71 : The Radio Broadcasts
Avant-Garde Jazz 2022
PHAROAH SANDERS Pharoah Sanders Quartet : Ole NYC - The 83 Broadcast album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Pharoah Sanders Quartet : Ole NYC - The 83 Broadcast
Post Bop 2022
PHAROAH SANDERS Pharoah Sanders Quartet : Live at Fabrik Hamburg 1980 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Pharoah Sanders Quartet : Live at Fabrik Hamburg 1980
Post Bop 2023

PHAROAH SANDERS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

PHAROAH SANDERS re-issues & compilations

PHAROAH SANDERS The Best of Pharoah Sanders album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Pharoah Sanders
Avant-Garde Jazz 1972
PHAROAH SANDERS Spotlight On Pharoah Sanders With The Latin Jazz Quintet album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Spotlight On Pharoah Sanders With The Latin Jazz Quintet
Latin Jazz 1973
PHAROAH SANDERS Ballads With Love album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ballads With Love
Post Bop 1994
PHAROAH SANDERS On Timeless album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
On Timeless
Avant-Garde Jazz 1995
PHAROAH SANDERS Priceless Jazz Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Priceless Jazz Collection
Avant-Garde Jazz 1997
PHAROAH SANDERS Crescent With Love album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Crescent With Love
Post Bop 1998
PHAROAH SANDERS Meditation: Pharoah Sanders Selections Take 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Meditation: Pharoah Sanders Selections Take 1
Soul Jazz 2003
PHAROAH SANDERS Meditation: Pharoah Sanders Selections, Take 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Meditation: Pharoah Sanders Selections, Take 2
Soul Jazz 2003
PHAROAH SANDERS Anthology album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Anthology
Avant-Garde Jazz 2005
PHAROAH SANDERS The Impulse Story album cover 5.00 | 3 ratings
The Impulse Story
Avant-Garde Jazz 2006
PHAROAH SANDERS ' Finest album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
' Finest
Avant-Garde Jazz 2007
PHAROAH SANDERS Village Of The Pharoahs / Wisdom Through Music album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Village Of The Pharoahs / Wisdom Through Music
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011
PHAROAH SANDERS Spiritual Blessings album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Spiritual Blessings
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013
PHAROAH SANDERS Ballads With Love / Crescent With Love album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ballads With Love / Crescent With Love
Post Bop 2013
PHAROAH SANDERS Tauhid / Jewels of Thought album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tauhid / Jewels of Thought
Avant-Garde Jazz 2015
PHAROAH SANDERS Thembi / Black Unity album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Thembi / Black Unity
Avant-Garde Jazz 2015

PHAROAH SANDERS singles (0)

PHAROAH SANDERS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
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Live In San Francisco
Avant-Garde Jazz 2007

PHAROAH SANDERS Reviews

PHAROAH SANDERS Pharoah Sanders Quartet ‎: Crescent With Love

Album · 1993 · Post Bop
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snobb
"Crescent With Love" is a Pharoah Sanders album released on the Japanese Venus label, a label well known for its specialization in "late night jazz" (or predominantly hard bop ballads) - original recordings of renown artists, released on albums with erotic-art covers. This album is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Coltrane's death. Even if Sanders played in Coltrane's band during his avant-garde (post-1965) times, "Crescent With Love" contains material strictly from the mainstream jazz category. Which perfectly fits under Venus label philosophy for sure.

There are five Coltrane hard bop-period songs included, plus Duke Ellington's "In A Sentimental Mood", Erroll Garner's "Misty" and other jazz standards. Sanders leads a competent acoustic quartet with double bassist Charles Fambrough, drummer Sherman Ferguson and pianist William Henderson - his regular quartet of the early 90s.

Sanders doesn't try to imitate Coltrane's sound here, he plays his own warm, a bit sentimental, soulful jazz deeply rooted in the r'n'b and blues of Sanders' youth. The trio on support do their job well, building an unpretentious background for Sanders' slow to mid-tempo soloing. The musical material is of excellent quality, so fans of regular Venus releases will find this album really attractive. Not much is offered for freer and more explosive Sanders music fans though. The album has been released in US in 1994 (with alternate cover art), and reissued a few times after, so everyone interested can find it without big problems.

PHAROAH SANDERS Pharoah

Album · 1977 · Fusion
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Rexorcist
Perhaps the most polarizing jazz album of all time, Pharoah Sanders himself disowned this album after its release. Now I won't claim to know the Pharoah as well as he himself did, but this may simply be the result of many recording troubles. I understand one of the major criticisms is the general sound of the album, and another seems to be the less spiritual presence in comparison to other classic Pharoah albums.

I personally find both of these flaws to be a bit too opinionated for me. First of all, a sound error can be fixed with a little production, and the version I heard did just that. Secondly, I admire when an artist tries to do something different. This album was quite different, and I really don't mind considering that jazz artists would change themselves all the time. Once bebop went out of style, Miles David switched to cool jazz. Then he reinvented the genre with the fusion work of In a Silent Way, and eventually became a leading figure in jazz-funk.

Pharoah's self-titled album is a wholly consistent mishmash of many of the things that does the exact same thing that In a Silent Way did, and with some similarities, mostly on the fusion and ambient sides. These are two key figures of both albums that are amplified by the other aspects on both compositional and aural levels. Whereas In a Silent Way included a little avant-garde, ambient and rock, this album includes some soul, tribal sounds and ambient. The vocal harmonizing in the final track is easily one of Pharoah's most empowering and heavenly accomplishments, and this five minute track fits perfectly with the two previous epics. This album is a hypnotic journey into a cooler, darker and more self-aware Pharoah that reaches new heights in the world of atmosphere. The entire time I was practically soaked in the album's hypnotic powers, which I can only describe as a battle between noirish laments and alien rituals. This is easily one of my new favorite jazz albums.

PHAROAH SANDERS Karma

Album · 1969 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Rexorcist
I've been on a spiritual kick for a few days now, as I'm trying to force onto myself a top 50 spiritual jazz albums list, and then move onto free jazz and diversify a top 100 avant-garde. As you can see, I'm proudly autistic. I just love making lists! But these lists have to be PERFECT. So I demand perfection. And lemme tell you, spiritual jazz is a challenge. While I absolutely adore atmosphere, I don't like it when songs are too long. I even have trouble with Frankie M. So I need something that switches and diversifies every few minutes, even from a spiritual jazz album. Thankfully, Pharoah Sanders often builds his albums on this concept, and the best example is Karma.

I recently compared Karma to his other big hit album led by Alice Coltrane: Journey in Satchidananda. Both are incredible, but I wanted to know which album I prefered since I hadn't heard either in a while. Now I know it's Karma. See, the reason Karma is the best example of Pharoah's love of switching things up (as shoved in our faces for proof on Thembi), Karma puts 80% of its runtime on 1 track. This track is the very essence of Pharoah Sanders' style. It has sparse but scattered vocal chanting of a very ritualistic and calming style accompanying an up-and-down rollercoaster that brings us into the spiritual world of heaven, drags us down to the free jazz chaos of our own world, and back up and back down and back up, ending with a culmination of both complexity and atmosphere for its second track., diversifying itself from the 32-minute epic. This journey is much great than Alice Coltrane's, who keeps us in the mysticism of Earth while Pharoah goes astral.

I should also mention that this is one of the very first avant-garde jazz albums I'd recommend to anyone to get them invested in jazz, telling them to just let the music take them away into another world and not worry about a beginning and an end. This album, despite its obvious avant-garde behavior, is actually pretty accessible in comparison to a lot of avant-garde jazz out there. This, Journey in Satchidananda and Tauhid are the three starting points I'd recommend for a beginner. Karma is currently in my top 20 albums of all-time, if not solely due to the fact that Pharoah mastered his style so early in his solo adventures.

PHAROAH SANDERS Tauhid

Album · 1967 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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snobb
From a distance of 50+ years, Pharoah Sander's second studio album (and his Impulse! debut) sounds a bit different than it did some decades ago. Sanders made his name working with John Coltrane on his avant-garde jazz albums, but it's Alice Coltrane's "astral jazz" which sounds much closer to the music on "Tauhid".

Just three songs, of which "Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt", the opener, lasts more than 16 minutes. Long slow-tempo piano/guitar intro sounded great in spiritual jazz meditative fashion of the time, but today is obviously too long. Sanders' sax starts after 9th minute only and it sounds mellow and relaxed, far from his signature explosive free jazz soloing. There are lot of tunes snippets on this song (sometimes recalling Coltrane's "A Love Supreme"), and even more - Eastern rhythms. The other two songs (vinyl edition side B) are a bit more energetic, both contain extravagant world rhythms. To be precise, there are only a few moments of Sander's more energetic, almost harsh sax soloing on all three tracks. At the same time, there are some of his flute soloing as well, which is an acquired taste mostly.

Sanders will develop "spiritual jazz" on his later releases, often moving towards post-bop or even r'n'b. "Tauhid" sometimes had almost cult status as his impressive solo beginning. It still is his important work, showing from where his music came.

PHAROAH SANDERS Tauhid

Album · 1967 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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liontime
Tauhid is an excellent work nearly on par with 1969's Karma. This record should not be overlooked by fans of avant-garde jazz, especially devotees of the trinity that is Coltrane, Ayler and Sanders. If you're here for the extraterrestrial, multi-tonal saxophone playing - you'll certainly find it.

The album begins with dense, modal piano, tremolo guitar and scattered percussion with Sanders characteristic sleigh bells periodically brightening the mix. At around five minutes, the band rests while Henry Grimes bows a few slow bars on the bass followed by Sanders coming in on the flute. The band members trade off improvising, often alone, until the nine minute mark when Dave Burrell comes in with the main piano riff that will last until the end of the first side of the record. The whole band comes in and Sanders finally lets loose on the sax; his performance is as masterful and 'out there' as ever, and if you're already a Pharoah fan - you know what to expect.

On side two of the album, my personal favorite Sanders track begins. 'Japan' only features Sanders on vocals; the melody is simple and amiable with gentle accompaniment from the rest of the band. Sanders' spiritual approach to music is perfectly manifested in this song, and one feels a harmony and closeness with Sanders that can't be found anywhere else in his discography. 'Japan' is a true highlight of the avant-garde era; its gentle approach unlike any other artist of the time.

The last track begins with a drum solo that quickly turns into group free improvisation. It is a medley with three parts that features plenty of Sanders on saxophone. This track is sonically more experimental and challenging than the first track, but there are still moments of blissful rest. The outro is sparse and quiet, with Sanders playing a slow exit.

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