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Asher Hill
Asher Hill

The Verve - A Storm In Heaven (1993) Japanese Reissue 1998


Capsule Info: Here's an album lost to the ages: thanks to Larry Nai for letting me listen to his. I used to think Pharoah and Sun Ra lived in parallel universes (from each other, not the rest of us!) but it turns out that when Pharoah was struggling to break into the ranks of recognized jazz artists he was living on NYC's lower east side and gigging with Sun Ra. Sun Ra in turn egged him on in the use of "Pharoah" instead of "Farrell" as a moniker. While I think both Sun Ra and Pharoah made albums more to my taste than this one, it is fascinating in its suggestion of where some great music was born.John Coltrane: KULU SE MAMAImpulse! Records 1965. Produced by Bob Thiele and John Coltrane.Track listKulu Se MamaVigilWelcomeMusiciansJohn Coltrane, tenor saxPharoah Sanders, tenor sax, percMcCoy Tyner, pianoJimmy Garrison, bassElvin Jones, drumsDonald Garrett, bass clarinet, bass, percFrank Butler, drums, percJuno Lewis, percussion, vocalCapsule Info: Very spiritually focused album from Coltrane featuring, on one song, Pharoah and singer/percussionist Juno Lewis sounding very much ahead of their time. Also featuring the serene "Welcome." (*In the US these tracks are scattered across different CDs; Japanese Impulse! released a brilliant sounding version of the whole album in 1998.)John Coltrane: SELFLESSNESSImpulse! Records 1965?. Produced by Bob Thiele and John Coltrane.Track listSelflessnessother tracks not featuring PSMusiciansJohn Coltrane, tenor saxPharoah Sanders, tenor saxMcCoy Tyner, pianoJimmy Garrison, bassElvin Jones, drumsDonald Garrett, bass clarinet, bass, percFrank Butler, drums, percJuno Lewis, percussionCapsule Info: SELFLESSNESS is a patched-together album containing two brilliant live performances from the pre-Pharoah Coltrane group and one extended tune, the title track, recorded at the same time as KULU SE MAMA. It's a fiery but accessible work, with a larger, more percussion heavy group than John Coltrane--though not Pharoah--usually recorded with. (*In the US this tune appears on the oddly-titled two-CD set THE MAJOR WORKS OF JOHN COLTRANE.)Don Cherry: SYMPHONY FOR IMPROVISERSBlue Note 1966. Produced by Alfred Lion.Track listSymphony for ImprovisersNu Creative LoveWhat's Not SeriousInfant HappinessManhattan CryLunaticSparkle PlentyOm NuMusiciansDon Cherry, cornetLeandro 'Gato' Barbieri, tenor saxPharoah Sanders, tenor, fluteKarl Berger, vibes, pianoHenry Grimes, bassJenny Clark, bassEdward Blackwell, drumsCapsule Info: An avant-garde summit. Gato Barbieri is also featured.John Coltrane:MEDITATIONSImpulse! Records 1966. AS-9110. Produced by Bob Thiele.Track listThe Father and the Son and the Holy GhostCompassionLoveConsequencesSerenityMusiciansJohn Coltrane, tenor sax, percPharoah Sanders, sax, percMcCoy Tyner, pianoJimmy Garrison, bassRashied Ali, drumsElvin Jones, drumsCapsule Info: November 1965 sessions. These meditations are soul-searching and fierce.John Coltrane:COLTRANE LIVE AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD AGAIN!Impulse! Records 1966. AS-9124. Produced by Bob Thiele.Track listNaimaIntroductionMy Favorite ThingsMusiciansJohn Coltrane, sax, clarinetPharoah Sanders, sax, fluteAlice Coltrane, pianoJimmy Garrison, bassRashied Ali, drumsEmanual Rahim, percussionCapsule Info: Recorded live in May of 1966, this album shows how far John Coltrane travelled since his legendary 1961 sessions at the same venue, joined this time by Pharoah and Alice.Don Cherry: WHERE IS BROOKLYN?Blue Note 1966. Produced by Alfred Lion.Track listAwake NuTaste MakerThe ThingThere Is The BombUniteMusiciansDon Cherry, cornetPharoah Sanders, tenor, piccoloHenry Grimes, bassEdward Blackwell, drumsCapsule Info: Fiery avant garde from Ornette Coleman's group sans Ornette plus Pharoah. *On CD only as part of the now out of print Mosaic Set "The Compete Don Cherry On Blue Note." One track ("There Is The Bomb") is also anthologized on the UK Blue Note compilation BLUE SIXTIES.The Latin Jazz Quintet with Featured Guest Artist Pharoah Sanders: OH! PHAROAH SPEAKTrip Records, n.d. (mid to late 1960s?). Produced by Juan Amalbert (Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim).Track listThe Dues PayerDariaMidnight MontunoTreasure of Sierra Madre (Gold Of The Mother Mountain)Shake A LadyHaarlemP's And Q'sOh! Pharoah SpeakMusiciansVirgil Jones, trumpet, fhornBill Ellington, double bassJerry Patterson, el guitarTommy Derrick, percJuan Amalbert, percPharoah Sanders, tenor saxHarold Vick, tenorKiawni Zawadi, tromboneRay Armando, percCharles "Chuck" Rainey, el bassCornell Dupree, el guitarStanley Johnson, pianoand many moreCapsule info: The cover art looks to be about the same time as TAUHID, otherwise I'm clueless as to the vintage of this recording. Funky New York Afro-Cuban jazz recording with maddeningly incomplete and unspecific liner notes. The music is soulfull boogaloo, wih occasional lapses into protosalsa and bigband souljazz. Hard to tell in a horn-heavy album, but Pharoah seems to have one solo vehicle, where he sounds really out of place in front of a way-way in horn section and funky rhythm section. There's a story here, I wish I knew it! See also SPOTLIGHT ON PHAROAH SANDERS in the solo album listings. Leader Amalbert went on to record as Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim and the Kahlios.John Coltrane:EXPRESSIONImpulse! Records 1967. AS-9120. Produced by John Coltrane and Bob Thiele.Track listOgundeTo BeOfferingExpressionNumber OneMusiciansJohn Coltrane, tenor sax, flutePharoah Sanders, flutes, percAlice Coltrane, pianoJimmy Garrison, bassRashied Ali, drumsCapsule Info: The last album John Coltrane worked on before his death in July of 1967, and the first of many to be released by his heirs posthumously. Having reached a free and frenetic plateau earlier, this album pulls back to earth and is full of haunting tranquility and introspection. Surprising and wonderful are Pharoah Sanders & John Coltrane on flutes in "To Be".Gary Bartz: ANOTHER EARTHMilestone 1968/1998. Produced by Orrin Keepnews.Track listAnother Earthother tracks not featuring SandersMusiciansPharoah Sanders, tenor saxGary Bartz, alto saxCharles Tolliver, trumpetStanley Cowell, pianoReggie Workman, bassFreddie Waits, drumsCapsule Info: Poised on the brink of finding their own voices, Gary Bartz and Pharoah Sanders join in an extended, side-long duet full of late-1960s edgy fire but not yet colored by the African sensibility that would soon dominate the music of both artists. Reissued by Milestone/Fantasy/OJC as a twofer CD with Bartz's LIBRA.John and Alice Coltrane: COSMIC MUSICImpulse! Records 1968. AS-9148. Produced by Bob Thiele.Track listManifestationLord Help Me To Be*Reverend KingThe Sun*MusiciansAlice Coltrane, pianoJohn Coltrane, sax, clarinet, invocationPharoah Sanders, flute, sax, invocationBen Riley, drums, percRashied Ali, drums, percJimmy Garrison, bassRay Appleton, percussionCapsule Info: A posthumous tribute to John Coltrane and the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Two tracks feature the late John, and two the Alice Coltrane/Pharoah Sanders grouping only. *Two tracks, with greatly improved sound, appear on the US CD reissue of Alice Coltrane's A MONASTIC TRIO.Alice Coltrane: A MONASTIC TRIOImpulse! Records 1968. AS-9156. Produced by Bob Thiele.Track listLord Help Me To Be*The Sun*OhnedaruthGospel TraneI Want To See YouLovely Sky BoatOceanic BelovedAtomic PeaceAltruvista*MusiciansAlice Coltrane, harp, pianoPharoah Sanders, bass clarinet, sax, fluteBen Riley, drumsRashied Ali, drumsJimmy Garrison, bassCapsule Info: Dorothy Ashby move over: Alice Coltrane brings the jazz harp to the avant garde. This is her tribute to her late husband and his spiritual vision. (*US CD version only)Leon Thomas: SPIRITS KNOWN AND UNKNOWN--NEW VOCAL FRONTIERSFlying Dutchman 1969. Produced by Bob Thiele.Track listThe Creator Has A Master Plan (Peace)OneEchoesSong For My FatherDamn Nam (Ain't Goin To Vietnam)Malcolm's GoneLet The Rain Fall On MeMusiciansLeon Thomas, vocal, percussionLittle Rock (Pharoah Sanders), saxLonnie Liston Smith, pianoRichard Davis, bassCecil McBee, bassJames Spaulding, flute, saxRichard Landrum, percRoy Haynes, drumsCapsule info: The version of "The Creator Has A Masterplan" is more vocally and lyrically developed (and much shorter) than the version sung with Pharoah Sanders, and much more mellow. Pharoah, credited here as "Little Rock" is featured on several cuts. "The Creator" also appears on other albums sung by its co-author, Leon Thomas. (Two cuts from this album appear on the CD LEON THOMAS ANTHOLOGY, Soul Brother Records 1998).Alice Coltrane: PTAH THE EL-DAOUDImpulse! Records 1970. AS-9196. Produced by Ed Michel.Track listPtah, The El DaoudTuriya and RamakrishnaBlue NileMantraMusiciansAlice Coltrane, harp, pianoPharoah Sanders, sax, flute, bellsJoe Henderson, sax, fluteBen Riley, drumsRon Carter, bassCapsule Info: A fairly eclectic album, moving from Mingus-like marches to the spritually meditative to a Pharoah Sanders screechfest.Alice Coltrane: JOURNEY IN SATCHIDANANDAImpulse! Records 1971. AS-9203. Produced by Alice Coltrane with Ed Michel.Track listJourney In SatchidanandaShiva-LokaStopover BombaySomething About John ColtraneIsis And OsirisMusiciansAlice Coltrane, harp, pianoPharoah Sanders, sax, percussionCharlie Haden, bassRashied Ali, drumsCecil McBee, bassVishnu Wood, oudTulsi, tambouraMajid Shabazz, percussionCapsule Info: One of Alice's best albums. From her liner notes: "Direct inspiration for JOURNEY IN SATCHIDANANDA comes from my meeting and association with...my own beloved spiritual perceptor, Swami Satchidananda... Satchidananda means knowledge, existence, bliss....I hope that this album will be a form of meditation and a spiritual awakening for those who listen with their inner ear."John Coltrane: LIVE IN JAPANImpulse! Records 1973/1991. AS-0000. Reissue produced by Michael Cuscuna.Track listAfro BluePeace On Earth (7/11)CrescentPeace On Earth (7/22)LeoMy Favorite ThingsMusiciansJohn Coltrane, sax, percPharoah Sanders, sax, clarinet, percAlice Coltrane, pianoJimmy Garrison, bassRashied Ali, drumsCapsule Info: Recorded in July of 1966 in Tokyo for broadcast to Japanese radio. One disc's worth was originally released on vinyl in 1973, with further sessions released in Japan only in the 1980s. The CD brings all sessions to a four-CD set, though the monophonic sound leaves a bit to be desired. JC's later-day quintet featuring second wife Alice and Pharoah wasn't as heavily documented on record as his more classic quartet, so this is rare music: Alice Coltrane's solos on one of the two long versions of "Peace On Earth" are terrific.Larry Young: LAWRENCE OF NEWARKPerception, 1973. Produced by Larry Young.Track listSaudiaAliveHello Your QuietnessSunshine Fly AwayKhalid Of Space, Part Two (Welcome)MusiciansAbdul Shahid, drumsJumma Santos, percHoward T. King, drumsJames Flores, drumsStacey Edwards, congasDon Pate, bassJames (Blood) Ulmer, guitarUmar Abdul Muizz, congasArmen Halburian, congas, bells, percDiedre Johnson, celloJuni Booth, bassArt Gore, drums, el pianoAbdul Hakim, bongosPoppy La Boy, percCedric Lawson, el pianoMystery Guest (Pharoah Sanders), sax & vocalsDennis Mourouse, sax, el saxCharles Magee, el trumpetLarry Young, organ, bongos, vocalsCapsule Info: Fiery organist Larry Young steps back from rock/fusion on a very cosmic set. Thanks to Karl Billerts for a taped copy of this long out of print gem.Norman Connors: ROMANTIC JOURNEYBuddah 1977/Right Stuff 1994. Produced by Skip Drinkwater.Track listThembiother cuts not featuring PharoahMusiciansNorman Connors, drums, percussionAlphonso Johnson, bass (on "Thembi")Reggie Lucas, guitarsHubert Eaves, keyboardsKenneth Nash, percussionGary Bartz, alto saxophonePharoah Sanders, soprano sax (on "Thembi")Ian Underwood, sythesizersWillie Weeks, bassBobbye Hall, congasand othersplus horns and stringsCapsule Info: The remake of "Thembi" shows how Norman Connors tried to remold Pharoah Sanders' direction in tune with the general jazz-pop mood of the late-1970s. This album runs the gamut from disco to fusion lite to ballads to quiet storm. Not for purists, but fun.Norman Connors: THIS IS YOUR LIFEBuddah 1977/Sequel 1993. Produced by Skip Drinkwater.Track listThe Creatorother cuts not featuring PharoahMusiciansNorman Connors, drums, percussionEleanore Mills, vocalsothers not listed on CDPharoah Sanders on "The Creator"Gary Bartz on "The Creator"Jacques BurvickCapsule Info: Glossy but fun Norman Connors album includes a pleasant rewrite of Pharaoh Sanders' "The Creator Has A Masterplan" featuring solos by Pharoah himself but substituting new lyrics for Leon Thomas' original ones.Art Davis Quartet: LIFESoul Note 1986. Produced by Giovanni Bonandrini.Track listLifeDuoBlues From Concertpiece For BassAddMusiciansPharoah Sanders, tenor saxJohn Hicks, pianoArt Davis, bassIdris Muhammed, drumsCapsule Info: Recorded live in NYC in 1985. Fairly straight-forward jazz; all originals by Davis. The Davis/Sanders duet on "Duo" is nice, and Sanders shouts the blues in "Blues From Concertpiece for Bass." "Add" is extended and nicely Coltrane-esque.Sonny Sharrock: ASK THE AGESAxiom/Island 1991. Produced by Bill Laswell and Sonny Sharrock.Track listPromises KeptWho Does She Hope To Be?Little RockAs We Used To SingMany MansionsOnce Upon A TimeMusiciansPharoah Sanders, tenor and soprano saxSonny Sharrock, el guitarElvin Jones, drumsCharnett Moffett, acoustic bassCapsule Info: The late Sonny Sharrock appeared on at least two of Pharoah's albums, TAUHID and IZIPHO ZAM. Here Pharoah returns the favor. Sharrock's playing is not unlike that of Carlos Santana, albeit jazzier and edgier and with an all acoustic backup. Pharoah sounds good, though Laswell's taste in production of course pushes him to odd places in the mix.John Coltrane: THE MAJOR WORKS OF JOHN COLTRANEImpulse! Records 1992. Produced by Bob Thiele and John Coltrane.Track listAscension, Edition 1#Om*Ascension, Edition 2#Kulu Se Mama**Selflessness@MusiciansJohn Coltrane, tenor saxPharoah Sanders, tenor sax, percMcCoy Tyner, pianoJimmy Garrison, bassElvin Jones, drumsArt Davis, bass#Archie Shepp, sax#John Tchicai, alto sax#Marion Brown, alto sax#Freddie Hubbard, trumpet#Dewey Johnson, trumpet#Donald Garrett, bass clarinet, bass, perc* **Joe Brazil, flute, perc*Frank Butler, drums, perc**Juno Lewis, percussion, vocal**Capsule Info: CD reconfiguration of several 1965 sessions: ASCENSION (#) in two takes, plus cuts from OM(*), SELFNESSNESS(@) and KULU SE MAMA(**). "Ascension" is a fiery larger ensemble workout that set the stage for much of the avant garde jazz orchestral music of the late 1960s. OM was allegedly recorded while the participants dropped acid: frankly hard to listen to, its stream of altered consciousness screaming still shocks and surprises. "Kulu Se Mama" with its percussion and chanting is a glimpse of Pharoah Sanders' path to come. (OM was released earlier on CD as a separate album but is now deleted; ASCENSION (edition 1), OM, SELFLESSNESS and KULU SE MAMA are all available on separate CDs as Japanese imports; see above for individual review).Elvin Jones/McCoy Tyner Quintet :LOVE & PEACEStoryville Records, 1992. Produced by Taizo Fujii.Track listLittle Rock's BluesHip JonesKorinnaFor TomorrowSweet And LovelyOriginMusiciansMcCoy Tyner, pianoRichard Davis, bassElvin Jones, drumsJean-Paul Bourelly, electic-guitarPharoah Sanders, tenor saxCapsule Info: Quintet sessions reuniting Coltrane vets McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones and others; recorded in April 1982. Emphasis on straight-ahead material.Randy Weston: THE SPIRITS OF OUR ANCESTORSAntilles/Polygram 1992. Produced by Randy Weston, etc.Track listAfrican Village Bedford-Stuyvesant 1The HealersAfrican CookbookLa Elaha-Ella Allah/Morad AllahThe CallAfrican Village Bedford-Stuyvesant 2The Seventh QueenBlue MosesAfrican SunriseA Prayer For Us AllMusiciansRandy Weston, pianoMelba Liston, arrangementsPharoah Sanders, sax, gaitaDizzy Gillespie, trumpetIdrees Sulieman, trumpetBilly Harper, saxDewey Redman, saxJamil Nasser, bassBig Black, percussionYassir Chadly, perc, vocalsIdris Muhammad, drumsothersCapsule Info: Afro-Centric bigband music; much of it influenced by the Gnawa musicians of Morocco. Pharoah appears on several cuts.ED KELLY & PHAROAH SANDERSEvidence 1993. Produced by Allen Pittman & Al Evers.Track listRainbow SongNewbornYou Send MePippinAnswer Me My LoveYou've Got To Have Freedomplus more cuts sans PharoahMusiciansPharoah Sanders, tenor saxEddie Marshall, drumsEd Kelly, pianoPeter Barshay, bassBabatunde, congasJunius Simmons, guitarplus strings, horns & voicesCapsule Info: A 1978 session released originally without credit to Pharoah, this recording sits squarely between his glossy commercial Arista work and his Theresa period.John Coltrane: THE LAST GIANT: THE JOHN COLTRANE ANTHOLOGYRhino/Atlantic Jazz 1993. Compilation produced by Joel Dorn.Track listmany tracks, 1946-1964 plusOgunde (1967)+MusiciansJohn Coltrane, tenor sax+Pharoah Sanders, tenor sax+Alice Coltrane, piano+Jimmy Garrison, bass+Rashied Ali, drums+Algie Dewitt, bata drum+Juma (Santos?), perc+Dr. Billy Taylor, announcer+many others on other tracksCapsule Info: A year or two before Atlantic and Rhino reissued all of Coltrane's Atlantic sides on a massive boxed set entitled HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, it released this overview of Coltrane's non-Impulse recordings from the late 1940s on. Tantalizing, included nowhere else, and relevant here is the brief, under two-minute snippet "Ogunde" from Coltrane's last live performance, at the opening of Babatunde Olatunji's Center For African Culture, in New York City's Harlem, May 23, 1967. Maddeningly the collection offers no clue as to the rest of this recording: how long it is, will it ever be fully released, etcetera. Coltrane playing a tune titled in Yoruba with multiple percussionists and Alice and Pharoah? Damn what's the rest of the song like!Norman Connors: REMEMBER WHO YOU AREMoJAzz 1993. Produced by Norman Connors.Track listNaimaother cuts not featuring PharoahMusiciansNorman Connors, drums, percussionBobby Lyle, keyboardsPharoah Sanders, sax (on "Naima")Marion Meadows, saxJerry Peters, keyboardsPatrice Rushen, keyboardsMarcus Belgrave, trumpetNat Bettis, percussionStanley Clarke, bassand many othersplus stringsCapsule Info: After a long absence Norman Connors returned with an album very much after his late '70s formula: good vocalists, jazz covers, glossy production. Some of this is great, some overproduced dreck. The cut featuring Pharoah, Coltrane's "Naima," is quite nice and actually jazz.Maleem Mahmoud Ghania with Pharoah Sanders: THE TRANCE OF SEVEN COLORSAxiom/Island 1994. Produced by Bill Laswell.Track listLa Allah Dayim MoulenahBala MoussakaHamdouchiPeace In Essaouira (for Sonny Sharrock)Boulandi SamawiMoussa Berkiyo/Koubaliy Beriah La'FohSalat AnbiCasa Casa AtougraMahrabaMusiciansPharoah Sanders, tenor saxMaleem Mahmoud Ghania, vocals, guimbri, tbeiThe Gnawa Musicians of MoroccoCapsule Info: Originally brought north to Morocco as slaves, the Gnawa are black Africans who perform musical trance and healing ceremonies; there is something wonderfully full circle about Pharoah's interaction with their centuries-old traditions.Idris Muhammad: KABSHAEvidence 1994. Produced by Idris Muhammad.Track listSoulful DrumsI Want To Talk About YouothersMusiciansPharoah Sanders, tenor saxIdris Muhammad, drumsGeorge Co


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