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WXDU’s “Out There a Minute” Jazz Program on 7/17/2011 to Feature the Music of Tenor Saxophonist Pharoah Sanders

 The playlist for WXDU’s “Out There a Minute” Jazz Program on Sunday 7/17/2011 will feature the music of Pharoah Sanders, who, according to Allmusic.com., “possesses one of the most distinctive tenor saxophone sounds in jazz”. 


Jazz critic Stanley Crouch places Sanders in the triumvirate of tenor saxophonists (along with Archie Shepp and Albert Ayler) who formed the second wing of the jazz vanguard.  And, according to Ashley Kahn (in the liner notes to the 2006 reissue of Pharoah Sanders:  The Impulse Story), Ayler once dubbed Sanders the “son” of the holy avant-garde trinity, with Coltrane as the “father” and Ayler, himself, as the “holy ghost”. 


Sanders worked with many of the jazz “avant garde” at the time, including Don Cherry and Sun Ra (who suggested Sanders change his name from “Farrell” to “Pharoah”), as well as with John Coltrane.  In fact, Sanders began working with Coltrane in 1964 and he continued working with him until Coltrane’s death in 1967.


Over the course of the program, you will hear selections from the albums The Impulse Story (2006, which includes material from the albums, Tauhid, 1966, and Karma, 1969); Sun Ra, Featuring Pharoah Sanders and Black Harold (1972); Journey to the One (1994, originally issued 1980); O Lord, Let Me Do No Wrong (1987); Crescent with Love (1992); and Naima (1995).  Sanders’s opus magnum, “The Creator Has a Master Plan”, will be played in its entirety.  The sign-off song will be done by Archie Shepp.


As a side note:  If you get a chance sometime, check out the painting on the cover of the album Madlib Medicine Show #8: Advanced Jazz (Madlib Invazion, 2010).  The painting there is entitled, 'Jazzcats Crossing the Hudson', and it’s attributed to Emmanuel Leutze, 1851.  In fact, it’s a 're-mix' of the famous painting, 'Washington Crossing the Delaware', by Emmanuel Gottleib Leutze, 1851. According to the legend given for the album’s painting, among the dozen “jazzcats” there in the boat, Miles strikes the iconic “George Washington” pose, but also identified are Ahmad, Herbie, Mingus, Ra, Dolphy, Ornette, Kuhn, Ranelin, Deodato, “Head Hunter”, and Coltrane.  Sanders is pictured at the front of the boat, hard at work pushing great chunks of ice out of the way so he and its jazzcat-laden crew can make the crossing.


Of Sanders’s music, Crouch wrote that “when the indelible spirit of inspiration moved him, Sanders was known to lift the hearts of his listeners in the very same way that great gospel singers have been famous for".  I would definitely agree.


I hope you will tune in and I hope you will hear something that interests you. 


Micheal Akutagawa