Thursday, October 13, 2022

Pharoah Through the Heart

Pharoah Sanders & John Hicks - After the Rain

I know I've covered him a million times, but since he just passed a few weeks ago I feel I have to, at least one more time.

I saw him play four different times during his life... that one time in the Palace of Fine Arts in SF with the North Indian percussion guys opened my third eye wider than the void that will be left when Betelgeuse finally supernovas.

Oh yes I met him once too, in the lobby of the Pickwick Hotel across from the SF Chronicle building you see in all the Zodiac Killer films. I was so high too, for my pals and I had just roasted a J outside the place, only to find the guy checking in when we floated back through.

He was very gracious and informed us he was in town to live-score the SF Ballet at Symphony Hall.

So what is there to say? This is a lotta folks' pick for Greatest Tenor Ever, outstripping even his mentor Mr. Coltrane for that title amongst more than a few.

I always thought his tone was what you'd get if you crossed, say, Ben Webster with The Trifid Nebula.

I supposed you could say John Coltrane invented Spiritual Jazz, but Pharoah Sanders codified it into law.

Born in 1940, he'd have been 82 today, had he not passed away just a few short weeks ago.

I know I've posted on him a bunch of times, but there's never not room for another couple of shows... especially unissued performances of the caliber that follows.

Pharoah Sanders Quartet
Blue Danube Jazz Festival
Hollabrunn, Austria

01 Little Rock Blues 
02 Body and Soul 
03 Heidi B 
04 UT

Total time = 1:18:12

Pharoah Sanders - tenor saxophone & vocals
Joanne Brackeen - piano
Clinton Houston - bass
Victor Lewis - drums 

sounds like the master tape of a soundboard recording of indeterminate origin
volume boosted +1 dB throughout by EN, October 2022

Pharoah Sanders & John Hicks
Frankfurt, Germany

01 After the Morning 
02 After the Rain 
03 When Lights Are Low 
04 Giant Steps 
05 Heart to Heart 
06 Central Park West 
07 The Creator Has a Master Plan/Thembi 
08 Little Rock Blues

Total time = 1:19:52

Pharoah Sanders - tenor saxophone
John Hicks - piano

192/48 audio from an unspecified European digital satellite TV rebroadcast
extracted, converted to 16/44 CD Audio and tracked -- with applause slightly trimmed to fit a single CD -- by EN, October 2022
519 MB & 403 MB FLAC respectively/direct link

Each of these concerts is a barnburner in its own right, with the first providing a forum for Pharoah and piano goddess Joanne Brackeen to challenge each other to four extended duels, and the latter bringing tenor tears with the versions of After the Rain and the ballad-ized Central Park West paying a visit from the Trane songbook.

I'll be back on Saturday with more necessary repetition, but if you have any sanity remaining you better get clicking for these tremendous and transcendent segments from the creator's master plan.--J.

10.13.1940 - 9.24.2022