Library Rock's Backpages

Pharoah Sanders: Spirit Force and Truly Iconic

Don Snowden, Rock's Backpages, 26 September 2022

OK, THIS is it, the first step... Pharoah has crossed over the rainbow bridge (and I bet his bridge was a real musical rainbow) and he was an absolutely essential figure in my musical life. Because Jewels of Thought was the first jazz album I ever bought... except I didn't know what jazz was. I didn't know about bebop, I didn't know Bird or Blue Note, I didn't know what pop standards were, I didn't know any conventions or rules that made music jazz and were meant to be followed. Maybe a little bit about big band and swing because of my mother's Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller records (not that they got played much), but certainly nothing near Ellington or Basie. That was old folks' music anyway, I didn't want to have anything to do with that. Cannonball and Ramsey Lewis I knew because they had hit singles and I heard 'em on the radio.

Total word count of piece: 1904


Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.