Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Pharoah Sanders – Love in Us All (Impulse, 1974)

This was the last album Pharoah Sanders recorded for the Impulse label, and is a nice summing up of the two main threads that had been running through his music, his deep spirituality and the ferocious free jazz that he had been performing with John Coltrane. This album is made up of two side long performances, and a large band with three percussionists and a drummer to keep the rhythm moving.

“Love is Everywhere” is a long spiritual piece with chanted vocals and some relatively peaceful soprano saxophone from Sanders. The vibe is very mellow with the percussionists locking into a bubbling groove under either the vocals or saxophone. “To John” is a Coltrane tribute as you might imagine and is the polar opposite of the music on the first side. This reprises some of the scalding free jazz that Sanders played as part of the Coltrane group and his tenor reaches flights of hair-raising intensity.

Sanders tenure for the Impulse label was a fascinating journey and this record makes for a nice summing up and consolidating of the first phase of his career. Never again would a record label allow him the artistic breathing room to create risk taking records like this. It’s currently out of print, but worth searching for a if you are a fan.

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