Friday, December 16, 2005
India Navigation IN 1027
Recorded August & September 1976
1. Harvest Time
1. Love Will Find A Way
2. Memouies of Edith Johnson
Pharoah Sanders; tenor sax, vocals, percussion
Lawrence Killian; percussion
Steve Neil; bass
Jiggs Chase; organ
Greg Bandy; drums
Bedria Sanders; harmonium
First impressions? Well, it's not like the Pharoah that we've come to know and love from 'Karma', 'Black Unity' et al. Not initially, anyway, as side one opens with a laid back funky groove and some surprisingly tasteful meandering on tenor from Sanders. The rhythm builds slowly, with new sounds and greater complexity being added all the time, in a manner not entirely dissimilar to an Indian raga.
Many times on previous albums, especially on 'Village of the Pharoahs', i'd hoped to hear Sanders play with a guitar, and here he does - surprisingly effective it is too, carrying the rhythm nicely as well as taking a solo on 'Love Will Find A Way' which is highly reminiscent of the great Carlos Santana. This track is also one of the first where Sanders lays down his sax and starts singing - the lyric is simple, but uplifting. There's a funky organ, too - most unlike the early 70s Pharoah.
Finally, 'Memories of Edith Johnson' closes out the set with more mellowness, but this time in a far-eastern-gospel-fusion style. (it actually sounds better than you would think from that description). That is to say it has some church organ and gospel-style vocals over a backdrop of pentatonic rambling.
Not an essential Sanders LP, by any stretch, but an intriguing chapter of his development from avant-garde pioneer to mainstream jazz artist.