No one sounds like Pharaoh Sanders. And he hasn’t lost that big rough but tender sound. (He’s to the tenor what Howlin Wolf is to singers.) He played a bunch of his great tunes and some standards. Although he seemed pretty tired at the end (he’s doesn’t have Sonny Rollins’ super-human energy) he was on stage for over two hours and was consistently inventive and powerful. He has what looks like a very arthritic hip (like Sonny) but when he danced or led the audience in singing or clapping to the rhythmic pieces that ended the concert he seemed to shed 20 of his 72 years. There’s always been a strong spiritual element to his music—one that draws on many traditions—and the last 30 minutes of the concert were a kind of first church of jazz. It was thrilling!
Pharaoh Sanders at 72
Bookmark the permalink.