The Night Thread Remembers Pharoah Sanders

Another jazz titan who passed over this year, Pharoah Sanders was a disciple of Sun Ra and a collaborator with John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane, and many, many others. Though he continued recording new work up through last year, some of his best known recordings are from the late 60s and early 70s. Thembi (1971) is one of my absolute favorites, featuring the tune Astral Traveling.

Similar to other avant-garde jazz artists, he was known for using extended and non-traditional techniques on his instrument. For a good example of what those sound like, check out this live performance in an echoing tunnel in San Francisco. It reminds me a lot of Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening project.

Man. All those stars and planets and nebula out there, eons of time and thought, and we were lucky enough to share breath with this beautiful soul and his creativity. Rest well.