Izipho Zam [Strata East, 1969]
Karma [Impulse!, 1969]
Jewels of Thought [Impulse!, 1969]
Summun, Bukmun, Umyun [Impulse!, 1970]
Thembi [Impulse!, 1971]
Black Unity [Impulse!, 1972]
Live At the East [Impulse!, 1972]
Village of the Pharoahs [Impulse!, 1973]
Wisdom Through Music [Impulse!, 1973]
Elevation [Impulse!, 1974]
Love In Us All [Impulse!, 1974]
Pharoah [India Navigation, 1977]
Love Will Find A Way [Arista, 1978]
Beyond A Dream [Arista, 1978]
No olvidar Tauhid, de 1967, probablemente uno de los precursores del kozmigroove o como se llame. Upper Egypt & Lower Egypt es un pedazo de tema con una guitarra funky cortesía de Sonny Sharrock. No te lo pierdas.
Black Unity: - the first half of this album is classic Pharoah Sanders style, it builds up into rhythmic chaos, but within that chaos it somehow seems to restructure itself into order and beauty. The second half is much mellower and allows for the musicians to be heard individually. Black Unity may not be as spiritually uplifting and beautiful as Karma, but it's still an amazing musical experience to sit through.
Live At The East is yet another faultless recording Pharoah Sanders made in the early 70s. It’s everything you could ask for from a Pharoah Sanders record, it's very deep, incredibly spiritual, quite free and totally hypnotic. Stanley Clarke features on bass here, and because of that there is a certain amount of groove/funk that wasn’t too present on his earlier Impulse! recordings. Live At The East is most definitely a real high point in Pharoah Saunders already incredible early 70s catalogue.
Thembi is full of wonderful deep and fluid jazz, this album is a total joy to sit through. It's not quite as full-on and free as he's earlier albums, but it's none the worse for it. There's also more tracks than you're used to from one of his records, which is nice as you get more of a variation of styles throughout the album. Normally with Pharoah Sanders you get one or two long piece(s) organically growing through alternating waves of chaos and serenity. Thembi however, is a set of six pieces of music which are all quite musically different from each other. The styles on here range from the free exploration of "Red, Black & Green" through to the floaty serenity of "Astral Traveling". This is definitely a more approachable album than you're used to from him, and if you're thinking of getting into Pharoah Sanders I would say this is an excellent starting point.
Village Of The Pharoahs:- side one of this album is four tracks (“Village of the Pharoahs Pts. 1 – 3” and “Myth”) played as one unbroken piece, and I have to say that this is close to one of the most magical musical moments I’ve ever sat through. This side is a mix of driving bass, supplied by Calvin Hill, with a simmering current of Middle Eastern/African melodies gorgeously laid-down by Kylo Kylo. As with most Pharoah Sanders Impulse work, a deliciously hypnotic cacophony engulfs you for the duration of the recording. My only fault with the music on this side is that Pharoah Sanders has used Sedatrius Brown as the vocal/percussionist as opposed to Leon Thomas. Not wanting to be disrespectful to Sedatrius Brown, but Leon Thomas just has the edge in this style of free vocal work.
Side two contains three individual tracks, which the latter two of these are where I think the album gets let down. The first of the three (Mansion Worlds) is a bit of a bottom-end masterpiece that really sticks to the lower tones of the spectrum. On this track both Cecil McBee Stanley Clarke are on bass duties. Then you have the most delicate piano work from Joe Bonner, and an almost unobtrusive soprano sax from Pharoah Sanders. This tune is a very delicate and beautiful thing, and definitely a real high-point for me of Pharoah Sanders recorded work. The last two tracks on here are pretty standard affairs, and a bit of a let down after the last thirty minutes of music you’ve just been wowed by. The penultimate track is an appreciation entitled “Memories of Lee Morgan” which obviously is a nod in the direction of the style of Lee Morgan. Lastly is an up-tempo rocking and bluesy crowd pleaser called “Went Like It Came” that for me was the real low point on this album.
This may not be a third-eye masterpiece like his earlier Impulse! work, but it certainly deserves a mention, plus it has recently been reissued on CD, so is easy to check out.
Jewels of Thought is a superior expedition into Sander's exploration of Muslim informed lyrics and very, percussive, driving and positive compositions. Raw and real. Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah-Hum seems like it could be truncated (despite its brillance) but I felt as if the sun in Aquarius (Part Two) is one of the most delightful pre-fusion free astral jazz foires that I have ever heard. It takes the huges lessons of Sun Ra and his Arkestra (notably "heliocentric worlds", "friendly galaxy" LPs etc.)and frames it in a way Sanders seems to be especially apt to do. Very pictoral and yet choatic and abstract at the same time!