Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Plan Has a Master Creator: Pharoah Sanders 80

I just dropped a lid for a slow cooker on my foot so this is gonna have to be quick.

For whatever reason there are a ton of 80th birthdays lately, and here we go with a big one indeed.

Today's honoree is somehow not just very much alive, he is still kicking it like a man a quarter of his age.

I was lucky enough to meet him once 25 years ago, as he was checking into a hotel in San Francisco.

I think he began in the band of Sun Ra but I'd have to look it up.

Obviously when he joined John Coltrane's band in 1965, his reputation went into the ionosphere, and when 'Trane passed he took up the torch more than perhaps any other.

His impulse! label records like Karma and Village of the Pharoahs and Live At the East are as transcendent as records get.

What's so deep about his music is the combination of the ethereal, Spiritual Jazz vibe of mellow, floating-down-the-Nile bliss, offset at the other extreme by his ability to make a tenor saxophone sound like a portable nuclear weapons device.

It's hard to believe, but Pharoah Sanders -- born in 1940 on this very day -- has just assumed octogenarian status.

How do you celebrate someone that's occupied as much time as anyone living or dead on your personal playlist of everything?

Let's diversify with some stellar, beautifully recorded and captured rebroadcast fragments -- covering the last 25 years of the 20th century -- from European radio, wanna?

Pharoah Sanders Quartet
Studio 104
Maison de la Radio
Paris, France

01 I’ve Got the Blues
02 Moment’s Notice
03 Lazy Bird

Total time: 34:40

Pharoah Sanders - tenor saxophone, percussion & vocals
Danny Mixon - piano & organ
Calvin Hill - bass
Greg Bandy - drums

digital capture of a 2020 France Musique rebroadcast
the rest of this concert was just reissued and is not included here

Pharoah Sanders Quartets
Hamburg, Germany

01 You Gotta Have Freedom
02 It's Easy to Remember

Pharoah Sanders - tenor saxophone & percussion
John Hicks - piano
Curtis Lundy - bass
Idris Muhammad - drums
recorded 6.6.1980

03 The Creator Has a Master Plan

Pharoah Sanders - tenor saxophone & percussion
John Hicks - piano
Reggie Johnson - bass
Alvin Queen - drums
recorded 3.20.1986

04 Ask Me Please

Pharoah Sanders - tenor saxophone & percussion
William Henderson - piano
Santi Debriano - bass
Winard Harper - drums
recorded 4.22.1998

Total time: 52:00

digital capture of an NDR FM rebroadcast of fragments of several concerts taped at the Fabrik in Hamburg
both sets zipped together

So we are clear, the 1975 portion shared here is the remainder of that concert... that is the portion of it that was not issued on this lovely set, just reissued on LP officially. So if you want the rest, to purchase is best.

Imma be back in 24 hours with the 85th birthday of a complete and total madman, but for today we pay the most sincere tribute to the creator Pharoah Sanders on his big day here in the overall Master Plan.--J.