Pharoah Sanders Interviewed

Source: The New Yorker.

Few musicians have said more than the saxophonist Pharoah Sanders. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, the son of a school-cafeteria cook and a city employee, Sanders moved to New York in 1962, at the height of jazz’s postwar avant-garde—also known as “free jazz” or “the new thing”—which was spawned by the late-fifties experiments of the saxophonist Ornette Coleman and the pianist Cecil Taylor. Sanders’s début album, recorded in 1964 for the ESP label, garnered little attention, but his playing caught the ear of John Coltrane. Coltrane invited Sanders to join his band in 1965. The following year, Impulse!, the label that had been exhaustively documenting Coltrane’s evolution, gave Sanders another chance to record as a leader. The result was the surging and expansive “Tauhid,” an album that positioned Sanders as both Coltrane’s foremost disciple and an artist with ideas of his own.