Pharoah Sanders

The Creator Has a Master Plan

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Pharoah Sanders is one of the few horn players whose sound is instantly commanding and recognizable. He's often compared to John Coltrane in their similar power, spirituality, and preference for the meaty middle register of the tenor, and in fact, one of the selections here is a long, atmospheric meditation on Coltrane's "Welcome." This CD is a rare treat, since Sanders has not been recording as prolifically as he did in the first four decades of his career. If he's not quite as pyrotechnic as before, his sound and soul are undiminished, and he's still coming up with unusual timbres The title track, his timeless 1969 hit, gets nine minutes here rather than the 32-minute original exposition with Leon Thomas's memorable yodeling, but it's still a tour-de-force. Everyone gets to stretch out on "Tokyo Blues," and while the band isn't particularly inspired by

"The Greatest Love of All," (Whitney Houston's hit) they do a fine job on Sanders's own "Tina, and "It's Easy to Remember," the latter of which showcases Sanders's way of excavating a ballad. There's also great support and propulsion throughout from bassist Ira Coleman, and drummer Joe Farnsworth, with pianist William Henderson supplying some swinging solos.

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