Pharoah Sanders was born in Little Rock Arkansas
on the 13th of October 1940. His parents were both very musical and taught the subject (his father publicly and his mother taught privately)
Sanders is well known for playing the tenor
and soprano saxophone
, and on occasions flute
as well, this however wasnt the case when he first started to play at high school, he went through a vary of instruments starting from piano and going through to drums (he does however dabble on the percussion still). At this time his early favourites were Harold Land
, James Moody
, Sonny Rollins
, Charlie Parker
Time moved on and Sanders moved over to the San Fransico Bay Area where he played in a a Rhythm and Blues and avant-garde jazz, a few years on Sanders finally moved over to New York in 1962, here he was working with people such as Billy Higgins and Don Cherry. Sanders was also working with John Coltrane albeit unofficially
It was at this time that Sanders gained his harsh, shrieking improvisation that contained multiphonics but also he combined them with sweeping runs with very indefinite pitch.
When Coltrane died in 1967, Sanders stayed with Alice Coltrane, then from the years of 1969 to 1970 he played and led a group with Leone Thomas.
Sanders was very well known for his distinctive sound, including the split reed technique. Although Sanders counted his tenor as his main instrument, he did some recordings while playing on the soprano sax, flutes, and percussion. He was capable of producing some most incredible sounds from his tenor, and according to rumours and jazz legend he is capable of causing a sax to shriek for minutes after taking it out of his mouth.
Mostly although the 70s Sanders was exploring and experimenting the combination of West and South African rhythms into free jazz, at this time to help him with this he was using such techniques with layers of percussion and voices.
- Pharoah Sanders Quintet - 1964
- The Latin Jazz Quintet-oh! Pharoah Speak - mid 60s
- Pharoah Sanders - Tauhid - 1966
- Pharoah Sanders - 1968
- Pharoah Sanders - Karma - 1969
- Pharoah Sanders - Jewels of thought - 1969
- Pharoah Sanders - Summun Bukmun Umyun - 1970
Players who played with Sanders
One of the most striking tunes ive heard from Sanders would be Doktor Pitt, here he displays such talent and a range of playing, from the fantastic overblown harmonics, to the way he will strip down and create a way version of a Coltrane solo that includes wide-open lyricism
and an unforgettable pernertrating tone. Include this with his normal howling, screaming
and honks, and you have got the solo of a brilliant man.