Home > Jazz & Avant, Music News > PDX Jazz Fest :: Pharoah Sanders

PDX Jazz Fest :: Pharoah Sanders

9th Feb 10 (Tue) Leave a comment Go to comments

Well, the PDX Jazzfest in Portland, Oregon, is about 2 weeks away. You won’t want to miss it. There are many fantastic local and national acts, including these great headliners:

Thursday, February 25 – Luciana Souza
Friday, February 26 – Mingus Big Band
Saturday, February 27 (3pm) – Trygve Seim & Frode Haltli
Saturday, February 27 (7:30) – Dave Holland Quintet
Sunday, February 28 (3pm) – Pharoah Sanders
Sunday, February 28 (7:30) – Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy

As we lead up to the event, I’ll focus on one of the headliners a week… next up Pharoah Sanders.

Pharoah Sanders is a most distinctive tenor saxophone player and a legend, he’s one of the last living members of John Coltrane’s late ensembles of the mid-’60s.  Pharoah Sanders possesses one of the most distinctive tenor saxophone sounds in jazz. Harmonically rich and heavy with overtones, Sanders’ sound can be as raw and abrasive as it is possible for a saxophonist to produce, and although he made his name with expressionistic, nearly anarchic free jazz in John Coltrane’s late ensembles of the mid-’60s, Sanders’ later music is guided by more graceful concerns.

Pharoah Sanders (his given name, Ferrell Sanders) formed his first group in 1963, with pianist John Hicks (with whom he would continue to play off-and-on into the ’90s), bassist Wilbur Ware, and drummer Billy Higgins. His first record as a leader was in 1964 for the ESP label. The group played an engagement at New York’s Village Gate, where John Coltrane heard him and by 1965, Sanders was playing regularly with the Coltrane group. Strength was a necessity in that band, and as Coltrane realized, Sanders had it in abundance.

After John Coltrane’s death in 1967, Sanders worked briefly with his widow, Alice Coltrane, and then primarily as a leader of his own ensembles. From 1966-1971, Sanders released several albums on Impulse, including Tauhid (1966), Karma (1969), Black Unity (1971), and Thembi (1971). In the mid-’70s, Sanders recorded his most commercial effort, Love Will Find a Way (Arista, 1977); it turned out to be a brief detour. From the late ’70s until 1987, he recorded for the small independent label Theresa. From 1987, Sanders recorded for the Evidence and Timeless labels. The former bought Theresa records in 1991 and subsequently re-released Sanders’ output for that company. In 1995, Sanders made his first major-label album in many years, Message From Home (produced by Bill Laswell for Verve). The two followed that one up in 1999 with Save Our Children. In 2000, Sanders released Spirits — a multi-ethnic live suite with Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph. In the decades after his first recordings with Coltrane, Sanders developed the capability of playing convincingly in a variety of contexts, from free to mainstream, and as a mature artist he has discovered a hard-edged lyricism that has served him well.

Webpage: http://www.pharoahsanders.net/

FOR INFO & TICKETS: http://pdxjazz.com/tickets/

~Dan – np: Clare & The ReasonsThe Movie

Advertisements
  1. steve
    1st Mar 10 (Mon) at 10:17 pm

    what WAS that song last night that Hans used the bow for his solo?

    What a fantastic show!

    • 2nd Mar 10 (Tue) at 7:04 am

      I don’t know. That was my fave solo of Hans. I wish I were more familiar with Pharoah’s music. For all I know, it could have just been an improv piece. :)

      ~Dan

  2. gmf
    10th Mar 10 (Wed) at 5:03 pm

    Jazz is one ofmy favorite genres. The way people play so freely and from their soul is inspiring

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: