The Jazzcat

Pharoah Sanders at the Jazz Bakery

by on Nov.14, 2004, under News

Additional Photos


Sanders sound is free, modal and very impressionistic. I have few of my

favorite things as well and one of them is music played with passion

and love in the spirit of Trane. The trio sounds so resilient like warm

waves of cascading water over you body on tropical shores. Trevor Ware

is on bass and his solos lyrically translate into the most welcoming

and loving phrases in any language. His work on the bow sings so

romantically that I had to lean over and kiss my girl! Michael

Stephan’s heart for artistic expression is all up in the music and his

humbleness allows him to listen and fill the space with magical

trinkets of rhythm. William Henderson is a multi-talented individual

with piano being only one of the instruments on his list. He plays some

seriously beautiful seamless runs and provides the continuum for a bed

of never ending creativity.



Tonight’s audience is definitely a listening and

appreciating one. The Jazz Bakery is absolutely silent, letting the

music fill with air an all the intricate details are revealed. The

spiritual chant of Los Angeles’s

vocalese master Dwight Trible is not just a voice, but he provides the

tones an unusually gorgeous instrument. A golden voice that

passionately soars with reality and sounds like no other. A man gifted

with a charisma that grabs you, sits you down to hear the message as he

sings and calls out the sinister within, purifying human souls with

love and hope for unity among all people.



As Pharoah would say, “The Creator does have a

Master Plan”. One that involves music, expression and a search for all

sounds in the universe. Pharoah made some notes on his horn that I

personally have never heard before. They were hollow like the sound of

a drum. You have to appreciate some one who takes an instrument to its

limits and then says now let’s see what you can do. If there was no

pursuit for the extreme, if musicians just colored in between the

lines, then you would not be challenged to think and life would come to

a halt. “If a Nightingale Sang This Way” then every morning, beautiful

sounds would inhibit our beings influencing our lives with smiles of

joy and happiness leading us to a perfect path of peaceful life on a

blissful planet.



This music tells stories with a vast pallet and

paints its own pictures on your cognitive music canvas. As Pharoah

stepped aside to let his trio take over, he would take a walk upstairs

in the balcony and look down upon the music from a different

perspective. Appreciating and perhaps coming across new ideas or

approaches to the music, he would go back downstairs, get back on stage

and instantly those expressions are shared with us. That’s creative

power and imagination and instant gratification for his audience.



“Thembi” has a warm and classic melody and is an

all-time favorite. As Pharoah introduces the band, signifying the close

of his set, he dances and emphatically gets the audience to roar for

each of the musicians. It is fun to share in that comradely. As the

show closes, Pharoah strikes a bowl and the resonating sound fills the

room and penetrates the bodies of a still and silent audience. One of

the most loving closings I have ever experienced. A musical prayer and

blessing for us to go forth in peace and harmony.


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LeRoy Downs

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