Pharoah Sanders Profiled

Source: Meta Bulletin.

For the past 60 years, the saxophonist Pharoah Sanders has been a steady force in progressive music, a sideman who’s played on some of the most noted arrangements in jazz and a stalwart bandleader whose unique style of play confused critics who preferred a more traditional sound. These were the same people who scoffed at Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock for broadening jazz to incorporate strains of psychedelic rock and funk. But jazz is meant to evolve; it’s music that builds upon itself several times over within the scope of one song. Pharoah is the definition of “let the work speak for itself.” He’s not one to say much about his approach, and he’s never really explained its eloquence. But maybe that’s why it’s aged so well. That you have to theorize its resonance keeps Pharoah in the conversation, even if the man himself would rather push the spotlight elsewhere. Still, his journey to iconic status is worthy of praise.

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