Mittwoch, 8. März 2023

Pharoah Sanders - Pharoah's First (1965)

Pharoah's First is the debut album by American free jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, recorded in New York City at the loft of audio engineer Jerry Newman on September 10, 1964, and first released in 1965 on the ESP-Disk label. The album was originally issued with the title Pharaoh and was later re-released with the titles "Pharoah", "Pharaoh Sanders Quintet", "Pharaoh's First", and was also included in its entirety in the 2012 4-CD compilation "In The Beginning 1963-1964".

Reviews of the recording have been mixed, with a number of writers expressing puzzlement over the juxtaposition of Sanders, who "wastes no time blowing his horn apart,", playing "some trademark wail and spasmodic multiphonic roar,"[ with the competent but relatively conservative side musicians selected for the session. Al Campbell, writing for AllMusic, stated that Sanders' sidemen "play bebop, Sanders doesn't. You can hear that Sanders is ready to go out, but restrains himself due to this mismatching of musicians... It sounds as if this date was set up for someone like Dexter Gordon, who didn't show up, so they got Sanders at the last minute. Sanders really has no purpose on this conventional date besides initial name exposure as a leader. What a shame." AllAboutJazz reviewer Trevor MacLaren wrote: "This record has always been a thorn in the discography of saxophonist Pharoah Sanders. The playing is solid, but his legendary ripping chops are extremely subdued, making this disc seem out of place. Not to mention the fact that the musicians that Sanders is playing with are bebop players, slapping out bop riffs. At no other time did Sanders ever seek out that sound. Nowhere during his Coltrane apprenticeship did he even hint at bop." JazzTimes reviewer Scott Verrastro stated: "This album truly protrudes in the tenor's early catalogue... The overall demeanor of the two sidelong cuts... is purely hard bop, energetic but largely nondescript... There's an undeniably palpable sensation that this session was a result of an open date on the studio calendar and Sanders just happened to be the most recognizable name, thusly earning the 'leader' title. Overall, it's not a particularly memorable debut but nevertheless an intriguing document."

Other writers were more positive. AllAboutJazz reviewer Clifford Allen wrote that the disc "though somewhat of an aesthetic anomaly in the ESP catalog and, at the time, given more 'could-have-been' status than it probably deserved, is a crucial workshop puzzle-piece that gives historians of improvised music one very important look at Pharoah Sanders and his young, big ideas." A Forced Exposure review stated: "With one foot in mainstream jazz... 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."

Regardless of its reception, the album is historically important in that it "caught the ear of John Coltrane" (one writer stated that "the steaming intensity of Pharoah drew Coltrane to Sanders"), who had also heard Sanders' group perform at the Village Gate. In late 1964, Coltrane invited Sanders to sit in with his band,[ and Sanders became a member of the group in September 1965.


"Seven By Seven" (Sanders) - 26:25
"Bethera" (Sanders) - 23:44

(256 kbps, cover art included)

5 Kommentare:

rev.b hat gesagt…
Dieser Kommentar wurde vom Autor entfernt.
rev.b hat gesagt…

I’ve heard these stylistic mismatch arguments a thousand times over the years and think they’re bunk. Bottom line, as with all ESP-Disk artists, Pharoah chose the players and the material. He made the record he wanted to make. If you don’t like it, blame him. I think this is one of the best albums he ever made and one of the best in the ESP catalog. I also hold Jane Getz's playing here in VERY high regard.

zero hat gesagt…

The music speaks for itself!

Anonym hat gesagt…

It has been so long since I last heard this I have no real recollection of the music at all. Time to fix that!!! Many thanks!


zero hat gesagt…

Hope you enjoy the music! All the best!

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