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Pharoah Sanders


    With Pharoah Sanders’ blessing, we present the definitive, remastered version of Pharoah, his seminal record from 1977, in an embossed 2 LP box set. Alongside the original record, we’re including two previously unreleased live performances of his masterpiece, “Harvest Time," and a 24-page booklet with rarely seen photographs and ephemera, which tell the story of this album and this moment in Pharoah’s life in a way that has never been done before—including through interviews with many of the participants and a conversation with Pharoah himself.

    For those of you who already know this record, then you know that its origin story is as elusive as Pharoah was about everything Pharoah. It was born out of a misunderstanding between him and the India Navigation producer Bob Cummins, and was recorded when he was at a crossroads in his career with an unlikely crew. Among them was a guitarist who was also a spiritual guru, an organist who would go on to co-write and produce “The Message,” and a classically trained pianist—his wife at the time, Bedria Sanders—who played the harmonium despite never having seen one. At times ambient and serene, at others funky and modal, PHAROAH radically departed from his earlier work. And it became beloved.

    Last fall, we were working with Pharoah on this project when he unexpectedly passed away. At first, it was hard to know what to do. We loved him, and the reason you do all of this is not solely for the music, but also for the person who made it. It’s their personality, their humor, and their wishes that drive you forward. So, we decided to go deep into the research. We set out to create something that showed Pharoah and his music in a new light.

    Over the next few months, we’re going to share with you all the amazing things we found, from personal photos of Pharoah to newspaper clippings that people saved in their time capsules. (Sign up at the link in our bio to get updates.) And we’re going to share the live versions of “Harvest Time,” which turn the original piece on its head.

    For seasoned listeners and new acolytes both, Pharoah will never sound the same.


    A1. Harvest Time
    B1. Love Will Find A Way
    B2. Memories Of Edith Johnson
    Harvest Time Live 1977
    C1. Harvest Time Live – Version 1
    D1. Harvest Time Live – Version 2

    CD1 - Pharoah
    1. Harvest Time
    2. Love Will Find A Way
    3. Memories Of Edith Johnson
    CD2 - Harvest Time Live 1977
    1. Harvest Time Live – Version 1
    2. Harvest Time Live – Version 2

    Pharoah Sanders

    Africa - 2023 Reissue

      Pharoah Sanders possesses one of the most distinctive tenor saxophone sounds in jazz, which has earned him royal status amongst free jazz players, critics and collectors. Harmonically rich and heavy with overtones, his sound can be as raw and abrasive as it is possible for a saxophonist to produce. His 1987 album Africa is soulful but also searching for a strong groove at the same time. The album is recorded with John Hicks, Curtis Lundy and Idris Muhammad and was an explicit tribute to his late mentor John Coltrane, another giant of jazz.


      Side A
      1. You've Got To Have Freedom
      2. Naima

      Side B
      1. Origin
      2. Speak Low

      Side C
      1. After The Morning
      2. Africa

      Side D
      1. Heart To Heart
      2. Duo

      Pharoah Sanders

      Moon Child - 2023 Reissue

        To celebrate the 45th anniversary of iconic Dutch jazz label Timeless Records, Music On Vinyl is releasing a series that features albums that are part of the Timeless Records legacy. Part of this series is Pharoah Sanders' Moon Child from 1990, which bookended a decade of musical soul searching for Sanders. The acclaimed free jazz player is known to have a raw and abrasive sound, but reinvented himself on this album as a more traditional improviser capable of thoughtful deliberations. Moon Child is a grand old time throughout, and Sanders has never been more eminently sing-along-able as he is on its title track. The record was co-written with Horace Silver, George Gershwin and Abdullah Ibrahim and recorded with William Henderson, Stafford James, Eddie Moore and Cheikh Tidiane Fall.


        Side A
        1. Moon Child
        2. Moon Rays
        3. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes

        Side B
        1. All Or Nothing At All
        2. Soon
        3. Moniebah

        Pharoah Sanders

        Black Unity (Verve By Request Series)

          For 1971’s Black Unity, Pharaoh Sanders added groove to foundation of spiritual and free jazz he had explored on his previous Impulse! albums. The result is a piercing and emotive 37-minute rhythm-driven title track exploration of African, Latin, aborigine and Native American sounds. This Verve By Request title is pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Third Man in Detroit.


          Side A
          1. Black Unity – Part 1
          Side B
          2. Black Unity – Part 2

          Pharoah Sanders

          Great Moments With

            The double-LP Great Moments With documents the music of Pharoah Sanders from 1983 to 1990, showcasing both the raw energy and tender nature of his music. It contains 12 of his recordings, including "Africa", "Naima", "You've Got To Have Freedom" and also the previously unreleased version of "Central Park West". Featured guest musicians are John Hicks, Idris Muhammad, Curtis Lundy, Benny Golson, Cedar Walton, Ron Carter and more jazz masters. For this compilation, Bret Primack has written new liner notes and Timeless Records founders Ria and Wim Wigt share additional great moments from Sanders' sublime work.

            Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra


            Promises is the result of three distinct musical worlds colliding. Pharoah Sanders’ jazz improvisation and Flo Po’s twinkling electronics are layered over the string section of the LSO, bound together by a loose symphonic structure. These are textures that rarely sit together in a single composition, yet somehow they seamlessly knit into a cohesive whole. It’s quite a feat, one that could only be pulled off by artists as accomplished as these.

            The entire album revolves around a recurring phrase played by Sam Shepherd on the piano, harpsichord and celesta. This phrase becomes the central pulse around which the other textures float, suspended in the space inbetween. The loose tempo allows for the improvised saxophone passages to flow freely and for Pharaoh to lean into the most tender moments of his performance.

            At the beginning of the album the string section gradually emerges like a delicate silver thread before building through a series of sweeping chord progressions and moments of bittersweet dissonance. This leads into the third movement where Sam Shephard’s deft synth arrangement becomes the focal point. And later on we hear a hushed vocal performance from Pharoah. It’s one of the most touching moments of the album, with years of lived experience seeping through every crack and bend of his voice in a captivating way.

            Promises is an album of subtle expression which invokes a feeling of boundlessness. It’s a wide open sonic space where each note is allowed to resonate to its full conclusion. There’s a constant feeling of push and pull, of tension and release, though it never really resolves fully. Something is always left hanging in the air - a question, a prayer, an inexplicable feeling. It’s perhaps one of the most surprising and profound releases of the year. 

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Matt says: A beautiful orchestral piece that while both resplendent with FP's and PS's wonderful idiosyncrasies; recalls the gorgeous depth of Prefab Sprout's "I Trawl The Megahertz" but without the vocal parts! Epic!

            TRACK LISTING

            Side 1
            1. Promises (Movement 1) (1:16)
            2. Promises (Movement 2) (3:56)
            3. Promises (Movement 3) (3:16)
            4. Promises (Movement 4) (3:39)
            5. Promises (Movement 5) (6:06)

            Side 2
            1. Promises (Movement 6) (8:25)
            2. Promises (Movement 7) (3:26)
            3. Promises (Movement 8) (9:57)
            4. Promises (Movement 9) (5:43)

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