Home Featured Pharoah Sanders – Live At Fabrik Hamburg 1980

Pharoah Sanders – Live At Fabrik Hamburg 1980

Pharoah Sanders – Live At Fabrik Hamburg 1980

Pharoah Sanders, who died last year at the age of 81, was the last great survivor of spiritual jazz, a saxophonist who filtered the teachings of his mentors Sun Ra, John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane into his own distinctive voice. He’s best known for his unorthodox “extended techniques”: making noises from the tenor saxophone in ways it wasn’t designed for. His most distinctive was overblowing – honking into his mouthpiece so hard that the instrument would massively distort, creating multiple notes, as if playing through a distortion pedal. It was never a gimmick: these shrieks and howls seemed to be part of a mystical quest, a constant need for exploration. It’s why Sam Shepherd, aka Floating Points, who collaborated with Sanders on the saxophonist’s Mercury-nominated final album, Promises, described his playing as “a megaphone to his soul”.

  • ORDER NOW: The National are on the latest issue of Uncut

This previously unreleased 1980 recording comes from a gig accompanying his album of the same year, Journey To The One. At the time, Pharoah Sanders doing an LP of ballads might have sounded as insane as, say, Napalm Death doing an LP of ambient music. Yet it works because Sanders doesn’t really change…

Continue reading…