Hall of Fame
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Tenor saxophonist who was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on October 13, 1940. He started playing professionally while in high school, trying numerous instruments before adopting tenor saxophone. He played at Little Rock's first 'mixed' night club, helping begin social integration with his music. He left in 1959 to play rhythm-and-blues and avant-garde jazz in the San Fransico Bay area. In 1962 he moved to New York where he worked with Billy Higgins, Don Cherry and John Coltrane. It was here he made his mark with harsh, shrieking improvisations that combined multiphonics and sweeping runs of indefinite pitch. This is heard in the Coltrane album "Live at the Village Vanguard Again," which featured Sanders, and on two of Sanders recordings "Preview" (1968) and "Karma" (1969).
Sanders returned to Little Rock in the mid-80's and performed at the Delta Blue Note, at UALR with the Little Rock Jazz Machine. He was known to sit in almost anywhere Art Porter was playing. During this time, Pharoah Sanders influenced our current generation of musicians. In the 1980s both his repertoire and his playing style have covered a wide range, embracing not only the energetic free jazz and calm modal jazz of his earlier periods, but also swing, rhythm-and-blues, and bop.
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[All-Music Guide entry for Pharoah Sanders]
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