The renowned American jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders passed away at the age of 81. Sanders' record company, Luaka Bop, announced the news on Twitter.
The label released a statement saying, "We are heartbroken to announce that Pharoah Sanders has gone away. He passed away quietly this morning in Los Angeles, surrounded by devoted family and friends. May he rest in peace, the most beautiful human being ever and always.
Farrell Sanders, who was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1940, began his professional life in Oakland, California. He began working with Sun Ra after relocating to New York in the 1960s, who gave him the stage name Pharoah, before joining John Coltrane's band. Sanders played with Coltrane until the latter's passing in 1967.
Sanders played a significant role in the spiritual jazz movement alongside John Coltrane. One of the key early examples of the genre is his 1969 album Karma, which blended elements of traditional African and south Asian music. As a bandleader, Sanders continued to put out records into the early 1970s, primarily on the Impulse! label. He contributed to Alice Coltrane's 1971 album Journey in Satchidananda, a significant work of modal and avant-garde jazz.
Sanders released recordings on Arista and the avant-garde jazz label India Navigation after leaving Impulse! in 1973, followed by a run of records on the Theresa label in the 1980s.
Sanders continued to tour and work with other artists into the 2000s, despite the fact that his productivity slowed in the 1990s. After hearing a piece by British electronic musician Sam Shepherd, also known as Floating Points, in the middle of the decade, Sanders approached him about working together. Sanders finally released a new album after more than ten years with the release of 2021's Promises, which was recorded in 2019 with the London Symphony Orchestra and received a lot of positive reviews.
Shepherd posted a tribute to Sanders on Instagram, saying: "This morning, my wonderful friend went away. We are all fortunate that this man's art will go on forever, and I feel very fortunate to have known him. I'm grateful, Pharoah.
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