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Pharoah Sanders: Jewels of Thought

Album Notes

Personnel: Pharoah Sanders (tenor saxophone, contrabass clarinet, reed flute, African thumb piano, orchestra chimes, percussion); Leon Thomas (vocals, percussion); Lonnie Liston Smith (piano, African flute, African thumb piano, percussion); Cecil McBee, Richard Davis (bass, percussion); Idris Muhammad (drums, percussion); Roy Haynes (drums).

Producer: Ed Michel

Reissue producer: Michael Cuscuna.

Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York, New York, on October 20, 1969.

Digitally remastered by Erick Labson.

This is part of Impulse's The New Thing series.

No one navigates a stormy sea and subsequent repose quite like avant garde pilot Pharoah Sanders. We are invited here to join the personnel in transcendental affirmations of peace, reassured by the yodeling of Leon Thomas and happy, revelatory piano work of the one and only Lonnie Liston Smith. Chimes, African thumb piano, and the talking hourglass drum are just some of the other elements which make this album musically and culturally compelling.

The compositional minimalism of JEWELS OF THOUGHT is a major thread through Sanders albums of this period, setting up a sparse canvas for colorful tenor saxophone meditations. In one instance Sanders' playing may be soft, beckoning and glad, while elsewhere his saxophone becomes a crazed, outraged beast unleashing its fury on the world. Regardless of which way these compositions lead, listeners are made to feel more like sonic travelers than mere consumers.


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