Pharoah Sanders

'Harvest time' Pharoah Sanders (Pharoah, India Navigation, 1977)

This album got truly awful reviews when it was released, with one critic comparing some of the music to Santana (that's mean), and even though I can understand the criticism of the second track - Sanders' exploration of R&B, apparently - I can't get why anyone could dislike the multi-faceted cool of the majestic 'Harvest time' that opens the record.

Sanders is often characterised as the one overlooked in discussions and assessments of Spiritual Jazz. ... the one who is misunderstood, or even maligned by some and yet this piece of music is so perfect in and of itself, it seems to me, with such sweet sounds and a delicacy about it. You don't even notice the duration. 

Here's a really informative and well-written article on Pharaoh Sanders' Impulse! albums that also considers his work, in light of his contemporaries, published this year (written by Andy Beta) and I think encourages us to offer the musician the respect he deserves.  

Alice Coltrane ... (Paris: November, 2015)

Making lists, on scraps of paper - post-it notes that will later be put in my bag; just in case I forget something, only to be reminded of it on my return.

The police found a car, abandoned near Simplon. They say that the car was left there by the (as yet) unnamed 9th attacker; they say that this might mean that the terrorists had been planning to attack the 18th as well.

Last night, lying in bed, listening to music - my 75018 T-shirt, faded - I think to myself, I need to write about jazz again. Music after a holocaust ...

I saw the video of a pregnant woman, hanging outside the bar window, calling out to those below her to catch her (before being pulled back inside, where the men with guns were). Someone compared the dead bodies to Dante's Inferno. Some hid for hours and could hear the people being tortured, with knives (this is what I read). 

There are words to be written here about what remains.  Of wonder and awe  ... 

After great suffering and loss. 

After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’
And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?

The Feet, mechanical, go round –
A Wooden way
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone –

This is the Hour of Lead –
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –
— After great pain, a formal feeling comes – (372) BY EMILY DICKINSON

I typed part of this poem many years ago and placed it near my desk.

The city shut the libraries, told us not to go to public spaces and stay inside. I walked with my son around the neighbourhood as we had nowhere else to go (the metro was deserted, it remained like that for days). I asked a mother on the Sunday if the parks were still closed.

Today I saw that they were warning us not to mention the location of police, as it may aid the terrorists (is the 'mastermind' in Saint-Denis, or in Syria). I went to see a film at UGC Les Halles, it was empty of people; two men in front of me carried large bags, I told the security guard (he thanked me), I was too frightened to go inside; I had to leave.

Music after the holocaust. Of and about transcendence ...

There are words to be written here.