Pharoah Sanders Takes on Electronic Music

Hua Hsu at The New Yorker:

Sanders retained a feel for the joyful and raucous immediacy of R. & B. The producer Ed Michel later said, “Pharoah would take an R&B lick and shake it until it vibrated to death, into freedom.” But he soon became a star of the new, experimental wave of sixties jazz, often referred to as the “New Thing” or “free jazz.” At the time, John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, and others were breaking from traditional approaches to rhythm and harmonic structure. Sanders’s compositions were open and atmospheric, and his playing moved restlessly between smooth, serene melodies and blaring, hyperactive improvisations. You didn’t passively listen to someone like Sanders so much as receive a transference of energy or take in a brilliant explosion of light. Not everyone was ready for it.

more here.