Monday, September 03, 2007

Pharoah Sanders - Africa (Timeless, 1987)

After tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders well known albums made with Impulse Records in the 1960's and 70's, he became a bit of a journeyman, recording for several labels before hooking up with Timeless in the mid 1980's. This record appeals for showing different aspect ofPharoah Sanders' musical personae, the beginning and ending tracks, "You've Got to Have Freedom" and "Duo" show him bringing the heat like he did in his early years. "Niama " and "Speak Low" demonstrate his ability on standard and ballad material, playing with grace and patience. Finally the title track "Africa" shows his continued commitment to meditational and spiritual music using chants and percussion. This is a good album that belies the notion that Pharoah Sanders is nothing but a one-dimensional firebrand. Taking on originals and standards at all tempos, Pharoah Sanders proves that he is a complete musician.

Send comments to: Tim