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Thursday, Oct 05 2017 | 21:28
Image: 1615545 ESP-Disk present Pharaoh Sanders Quintet Recorded on September 10, 1964, prior to his well-known association with John Coltrane, this eponymous album (later renamed Pharoah's First) is the debut release of the iconic tenor saxophonist.

Track Listing
Side A:
1. Seven by Seven 26:07
Side B:
1. Bethera 23:31
Personnel:
Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone, Stan
Foster, trumpet, Jane Getz, piano, William
Bennett, bass, Marvin Pattillo, percussion

Overview:
Recorded on September 10, 1964, prior to his well-known association with John Coltrane, this eponymous album (later renamed Pharoah's First) is the debut release of the iconic tenor saxophonist. (Yes, there are some spelling oddities here: the artist -- birth name Ferrell -- only later changed the spelling from the standard Pharaoh to the more personalized Pharoah.)
With one foot in mainstream jazz -- pianist Jane Getz had played with Charles Mingus -- and the other, tentatively at times, in the avant-garde, this is a fascinating glimpse of Sanders's style before he wielded the unremitting fierceness of his playing with Coltrane and the modal mysticism of his later solo albums on Impulse. Interestingly, in recent years he has deployed a more polished version of this sort of avant-flavored bop, bringing his career full circle and strongly suggesting that the hybrid heard here was not due to any failure of nerve on his debut but rather was the cornerstone of his conception.
ESP-Disk' has issued this album under three different covers, for its 21st-century reissue on vinyl, we have chosen to use the second and most beautiful. It is augmented with liner notes by a current ESP-Disk' artist, tenor saxophonist Ras Moshe Burnett of The Red Microphone, who can be heard accompanying Amina Baraka on their eponymous 2017 release (ESP5021).

Press:
"...we can see major stylistic hallmarks already present in a standard quintet format, a soloistic presence that will, in the
years to come, be both nurtured and broken apart. ... 'Bethera' has a head that might have been copped from an earlier
Trane blues, its theme even less a springboard for free improvisation, but Pharoah somehow finds a slight descending
chord on which to harp his guttural yelps, even as much of this lengthy solo takes on a tonal aesthetic that is decidedly
Atlantic-era Trane. Despite these tonal affinities...Sanders seems to be utilizing phrase-based free association (a la Newk
or Cherry), rather than necessarily moving through and wringing out chords and modes as Trane had. ...he is decidedly
into something uniquely his even at this early stage. ...a crucial workshop puzzle-piece that gives historians of
improvised music one very important look at Pharoah Sanders and his young, big ideas." - Clifford Allen, All About Jazz Available from 27.10.2017
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