• VF Mix 120: Pharoah Sanders by Tim Garcia

    By | January 18, 2018

    A cosmic journey with the legendary sax originator.

    This week our VF Mix series delves into the work of tenor saxophone titan Pharoah Sanders.

    For the special occasion, we’ve enlisted Música Macondo/Jazz FM’s Tim Garcia to traverse Sanders’ 50 year career:

    “A student of John Coltrane and Sun Ra, Sanders was described by Ornette Coleman as ‘probably the best tenor player in the world’,” shares Garcia.

    “This mix pays tribute to “Little Rock”, exploring his creations with both John and Alice Coltrane, his cross-cultural collaborations with the likes of Maleem Mahmoud Gania and Foday Musa Suso, his Impulse! years and beyond.”

    “I find it hard to put into words the feeling that listening to Pharoah Sanders gives me, but Norman Connors once said of his time with Pharoah. “I can’t really describe it. It’s just such a beautiful thing. It was almost as if everybody was going to heaven.”

    Tracklist

    1. Pharoah Sanders – Harvest Time (1977)
    2. Foday Musa Suso Feat. Pharoah Sanders – Samma (1996)
    3. John Coltrane Feat. Pharoah Sanders – Kulu Sé Mama (1966)
    4. Pharoah Sanders – Morning Prayer (1971)
    5. Pharoah Sanders – Moon Rays (1990)
    6. Pharoah Sanders – Astral Travelling (1971)
    7. Alice Coltrane Feat. Pharoah Sanders – Journey In Satchidananda (1971)
    8. Pharoah Sanders Feat. Leon Thomas – Prince Of Peace (1973)
    9. Maleem Mahmoud Gania with Pharoah Sanders – La Allah Dayim Moulenah (1994)
    10. Pharoah Sanders – Africa (1987)
    11. Pharoah Sanders – Pharomba (1978)
    12. Pharoah Sanders – Moon Child (1990)
    13. Pharoah Sanders – Mansion Worlds (1973)
    14. Pharoah Sanders – Origin (1981)
    15. Pharoah Sanders – Think About The One (1980)
    16. Pharoah Sanders & Phyllis Hyman – As You Are (1978)
    17. Pharoah Sanders – The Creator Has A Master Plan (1969)
    18. Pharoah Sanders & Phyllis Hyman – Love Is Here (1978)
    19. Pharoah Sanders – You’ve Gotta Have Freedom (1980)

  • Gallery: A visual history of Impulse! Records in 30 classic sleeves

    By | April 30, 2015

    Coltrane_cover

    Born in 1960, Impulse! Records changed the face of jazz music for ever.

    And when it came to the design of their record sleeves it was the faces behind the music that were given centre stage too. Started by Creed Taylor in 1960 as a subsidiary of ABC-Paramount, Impulse! Records defined jazz in the ’60s more than any other label, releasing some of the most respected jazz records of all time. With their first major signing John Coltrane at the vanguard, Impulse! grew quickly into one a powerhouse imprint at the fore-front of the push towards the avant-garde, with the Coltranes (John & Alice), Pharoah Sanders, Charles Mingus and Archie Shepp leading the way. And like the heavyweights behind the music, Impulse! championed a design aesthetic that was equally uncompromising.

    However, as far as celebrated album sleeve design from the jazz world goes, people often don’t look much further than Reid Miles and the instantly recognisable typographical modernism of his most iconic Blue Note covers. Developing by its side with a focus instead on photography, the clean, bold colours used on Impulse! have become equally iconic, the orange and black back cover indent and spine synonymous with quality and collectibility (Judging from our interview last week, even Benji B is sold: “I do like that when I look at my record collection all the Impulse! spines look the same.”)

    Complete with deluxe gatefold covers and high quality mastering from seismic engineer Rudy Van Gelder, Impulse! record sleeves exude the power of the music and the charisma of their artists, profiled in over-sized portraits by some of the best photographers of the era. Working with designs Robert Flynn and Fran Attaway, Taylor championed the use of striking colour combinations and cutting edge photography, employing Peter Turner, Roy DeCarava, Charles Stewart, Arnold Newman among others to capture the essence of the music in the expressions of its creators. It’s hard to imagine A Love Supreme (itself a break from the bright colours and the only Impulse! release to trade the orange spine for black and white) without immediately recalling the furrowed, monochrome profile of Coltrane on the sleeve.

    Having established Impulse! as a musical and visual force, Taylor was subsequently replaced by Bob Thiele, the producer behind most of the label’s 300 odd releases. With so many milestone recordings to take in, we’ve chosen thirty classic sleeves from the Impulse! catalogue to begin to tell the story of the label during its most prominent years, from Kai Winding & J.J. Johnson’s Impulse A-01 through to Archie Shepp’s funk manifesto Attica Blues in 1972, and from straight up portraiture to psychedelic expression.

    As part of this we’ve collected tracks from all 30 records in a playlist which you can listen to here or individually as you scroll.


    johnsonImpulse

    J. J. Johnson & Kai Winding
    The Great J.J. & Kai
    (1960)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Arnold Newman


    evansCool

    Gil Evans
    Out Of The Cool
    (1961)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Arnold Newman


    nelsonBluesAbstract2

    Oliver Nelson
    The Blues and the Abstract Truth (New cover)
    (1961)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Charles Stewart


    coltraneAfrica

    John Coltrane
    Africa / Brass
    (1961)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Ted Russell


    roachPercussion

    Max Roach
    Percussion Bitter Sweet
    (1961)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Bob Gomel


    carterFurther

    Benny Carter
    Further Definitions
    (1961)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Pete Turner


    manneImpulse

    Shelly Manne
    2 3 4
    (1962)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Bob Gomel


    haynesAfternoon

    Roy Haynes
    Out of the Afternoon
    (1962)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Burt Goldblatt


    coltraneEllington

    Duke Ellington and John Coltrane
    Duke Ellington and John Coltrane
    (1963)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Bob Ghiraldini


    mingusBlackSaint

    Charles Mingus
    The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
    (1963)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Bob Ghiraldini


    coltraneHartman

    John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman
    John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman
    (1963)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Joe Alper


    coltraneBirdland

    John Coltrane
    Coltrane live at Birdland
    (1963)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Joe Alper


    mingusImpulse54

    Charles Mingus
    Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus
    (1963)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Joe Alper


    hamiltonTwoWorlds

    Chico Hamilton
    Man From Two Worlds
    (1963)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Charles Stewart


    coltraneCrescent

    John Coltrane
    Crescent
    (1964)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Charles Stewart


    coltraneLoveSupreme

    John Coltrane
    A Love Supreme
    (1965)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: George Gray
    Photo: Bob Thiele


    jonesDearJohn

    Elvin Jones
    Dear John C.
    (1965)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Charles Stewart


    coltraneAscension

    John Coltrane
    Ascension
    (1966)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Charles Stewart


    hamiltonDealer

    Chico Hamilton
    The Dealer
    (1967)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Charles Shabacon


    sandersTauhid

    Pharoah Sanders
    Tauhid
    (1967)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert Flynn
    Photo: Charles Stewart


    sheppJuJu

    Archie Shepp
    The Magic of Ju-Ju
    (1967)

    Listen / Buy

    Painting: Alan Winston
    Photo: William A. Levy


    aylerVillage

    Albert Ayler
    Albert Ayler in Greenwich Village
    (1967)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert and Barbara Flynn
    Photo: Charles Stewart


    jonesHeavySounds

    Elvin Jones & Richard Davis
    Heavy Sounds
    (1968)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert and Barbara Flynn
    Photo: Charles Stewart


    scottImpulse

    Tom Scott
    The Honeysuckle Breeze
    (1968)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert and Barbara Flynn
    Photo: Irv Glaser


    aylerLoveCry

    Albert Ayler
    Love Cry
    (1968)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert and Barbara Flynn
    Photo: Charles Stewart


    sheppWayAhead

    Archie Shepp
    The Way Ahead
    (1968)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert and Barbara Flynn


    aylerImpulse

    Albert Ayler
    New Grass
    (1968)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Byron Goto / Henry Epstein
    Photo: Elliot Landy


    sandersKarma

    Pharoah Sanders
    Karma
    (1969)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Robert and Barbara Flynn
    Photo: Charles Stewart


    aylerHealing

    Albert Ayler
    Music is the Healing Force of the Universe
    (1969)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: George Whiteman
    Photo: Charles Stewart


    sheppAttica

    Archie Shepp
    Attica Blues
    (1972)

    Listen / Buy

    Design: Clyde Gilliam
    Photo: Charles Stewart


    Both Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and Archie Shepp’s Attica Blues feature in our eclectic selection of jazz records for people who don’t like jazz, which you can read here.

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