Pharoah Sanders

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When this was first released, the slow, straight sounds of Pharoah Sanders on a series of mostly famous ballads came as a bit of a surprise to some. Others saw Sanders as following the road of his mentor, John Coltrane, who had recorded most of these tunes himself. In retrospect, the inside playing of Sanders is less of a surprise, the saxophonist having followed that path regularly since at least the '80s. This performance has held up well through the years, and while the thin, reserved approach is reminiscent of Coltrane, it is still marked with Pharoah's print. The competent and thoroughly professional rhythm section of pianist William Henderson, bassist Stafford James, and drummer Eccleston W. Wainwright takes a decidedly reserved cue from the saxophonist, but each song is infused with a subtle emotional quality that simply does not let go.

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