Renowned saxophonist Pharoah Sanders first rose to fame in the '60s after joining the Sun Ra Arkestra and John Coltrane's later ensembles. An essential component of free jazz's early days, Sanders was first recognized for his notoriously aggressive and huge tenor sound. Without losing any of his raw power Sanders quickly began to further expand upon and refine his craft into a more patient, melodic, and spiritually peaceful sound, working a unique beauty into the psychedelic spaciousness of Sun Ra, alongside the improvisational chops and compositional courage of contemporaries like John and Alice Coltrane.
Sanders' 11 Impulse albums - from 1967's Tauhid to 1974's Love In Us All - stand among the label's finest runs. Tauhid, his Bob Thiele-produced debut, was inspired by ancient Egypt and his travels in Japan with Coltrane and finds Sanders working in a talented sextet featuring Dave Burrell (piano), Henry Grimes (bass), Sonny Sharrock (guitar), Roger Blank (drums) and Nat Bettis (percussion). Sanders unveils a newfound lyricism and patience to the proceedings here which allows the mercurial moods to unfold organically throughout. 17-minute A-side "Upper Egypt And Lower Egypt" is astral jazz at its finest!