PHAROAH SANDERS — Jewels of Thought

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PHAROAH SANDERS - Jewels of Thought cover
3.88 | 10 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1969

Tracklist

A1 Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah-Hum Allah 15:04
A2 Sun in Aquarius (Part 1) 8:22
B Sun in Aquarius (Part 2) 19:56

Line-up/Musicians

Pharoah Sanders (tenor saxophone, contrabass clarinet, reed flute, African thumb piano, orchestra chimes, percussion)
Leon Thomas (vocals, percussion)
Lonnie Liston Smith (piano, African flute, African thumb piano, percussion)
Cecil McBee, Richard Davis (bass, percussion)
Idris Muhammad (drums, percussion)
Roy Haynes (drums)

About this release

Impulse! – AS-9190 (US)

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on November 15, 1966

Thanks to Abraxas, snobb for the updates

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PHAROAH SANDERS JEWELS OF THOUGHT reviews

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Members reviews

Sean Trane
By now, there was no turning back for quite a while for Pharoah and his CRM rebellion through the music. Not only had he converted to Islam, but he was also rejecting almost every kind of musical rules that were imposed by the music industry. So he was breaking grounds into uncharted territories that only a few found interesting to venture in, to. Recorded somer 8 months after the splendid Karma, this album is definitely a step ahead (I didn’t say forward) in Pharoah’s quest for his own nirvana or an outlet for his rebellion.

Don’t get it wrong Jewels Of Thought is still accessible in parts, due to the spiritual force driving Sanders, and the mid-eastern musical and philosophical influences that inspire most of this album are generally the more accessible parts. Indeed, the ultra-repetitive Hum-Allah maintains a mid-tempo groove fr 15-mins without much happening, but then again this is supposed to evoke some religious or spiritual trance, a bit like the dervishes, so time doesn’t count…. However, if you’re not into that schmaltzy trip (like yours truly, an atheist), you’re likely to find this piece very tedious by its third of distance and frankly over-staying its welcome by its half-mark. I’m not always a fan of Leon Thomas’ voice, but it doesn’t bother me in these trance-induce chants. Lonnie Liston Smith’s piano has that typical Trane-world touch, evoking the Tyner phrasé.

And that’s for the more accessible of the two tracks. In fact, you’ll probably wish that the first track lasted the duration of the album, once you’re subjected (submitted/force-fed???) the almost 28-mins Sun in Aquarius and its squeaky Maghreb ju-ju-derivate instruments and other African percussion instruments. While that may still intrigue you, it slowly degenerates into screeching sax squeals, atonal piano ramblings and other tortured instruments…. Well not all of it is of that accabit, as there are some well-needed but temporary safe-havens where the listener is allowed to recuperate parts of his sanity before plunging for more. Some of the more-delicate ears might actually consider this rest-and-speed-on strategy much akin to what was done in some concentration camps in order to extract infos. In this second track, the Coltrane foundations are probably much-less evident because deciphering the wild improvisations bits won’t necessarily lead you into the Trane Ascension.

Well, actually, JoT is not the least accessible of sanders’ a album, but there are no obvious introduction point into Pharoah’s very peculiar musical realm of the late-60’s and early 70’s.

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  • JimmyJazz
  • bankstatement
  • BORA
  • Anster
  • Drummer
  • toitoi2
  • darkprinceofjazz
  • kostasprog
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