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ARTIST
TITLE
Elevation
FORMAT
12"

LABEL
CATALOG #
IMP 222EP IMP 222EP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
1/12/2009

"A shining example of technical virtuosity & conceptual vision, Pharoah Sanders came to prominence like so many jazz greats before him: having honed his professional craft playing in local rhythm & blues acts in Oakland, CA, Sanders traveled East in 1961 to become part of the rising avant-garde jazz circle of New York City, and, per the protocol of the honorable and sacred lineage of jazz musicians, bloomed into his own under the creative support of an elder's weathered wing -- in this case, playing tenor saxophone with John Coltrane through the early- to mid-1960s, participating and to a great extent influencing the increasingly free-formed jazz experimentations that Coltrane's outfit would become deeply immersed in throughout this era. Despite amassing unparalleled respect & reverence from his peers and devoted followers in the free-jazz community, Sanders quickly rejected the allegedly boundless domain of anti-structure that he had helped to construct, embarking -- whether through conscious intention or accidental genius -- to develop a new aesthetic that recognized within the infinite & completely un-chartable expanses of some free-jazz experimentation & expressionism lay an acute dogmatism, and 'ideology of anti-ideology' that Sanders would quickly supersede through his explorations of melody and musicality in esoteric notational expression. Pharoah Sanders arose as one of the quintessential figureheads of a musical genre that, ironically, refuted the very concepts of individual egotistical worth and corporeal concern, focused on the transitive and transcendent properties of melody & impeccably-crafted harmony, their philosophical, spiritual and political potentials through its theory & practice: 'spiritual jazz.' The major contribution that Sanders and his contemporaries in this newly-budding genre of the early 1970s discovered was the higher form of expressionism, not through absolute refutation and denunciation of structure, but through the careful analysis and engagement with the basic necessities of musical simplicity to create something completely boundless within the parameters of traditional structure: an autonomous zone of instrumental catharsis that allowed equally the unrestrained bursting of brass screams and the meditative soothing of repetitive bass refrains & lush melodic chords -- a perfectly boundless synthesis of free expression & wise musical grounding. This latest reissue compiled by Slow To Speak's Francis Englehardt & Paul Nickerson highlights with equal reverence and profound awe the transitive properties of Sander's masterful arrangement and musical prophecy, featuring two original works of the tenor great, 'Elevation' & 'Astral Traveling,' along with his absolutely breathtaking early groundwork with Alice Coltrane with the classic 'Journey In Satchidananda.'"