Tag: Pharoah Sanders

In Memoriam: Pharoah Sanders (1940 – 2022)

Pharoah Sanders (born Farrell Sanders; October 13, 1940 – September 24, 2022) was an American jazz saxophonist. Known for his overblowing, harmonic, and multiphonic techniques on the saxophone, as well as his use of “sheets of sound”, Sanders played a prominent role in the development of free jazz and spiritual jazz through his work as a member of John Coltrane’s groups in the mid-1960s, and later through his solo work. He released over thirty albums as a leader and collaborated extensively with Leon Thomas and Alice Coltrane, among others. Saxophonist Ornette Coleman described him as “probably the best tenor player in the world”.

Sanders’ take on spiritual jazz was rooted in his inspiration in religious concepts such as Karma and Tawhid, and his rich, meditative aesthetic. This style was seen as a continuation of Coltrane’s work on albums such as A Love Supreme. As a result, Sanders was considered to have been a disciple of Coltrane or, as Albert Ayler said, “Trane was the Father, Pharoah was the Son, I am the Holy Ghost”.

Sanders died on September 24, 2022, at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 81.