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Pharoah Sanders: Black Unity

Biased opinion #1: Pharoah Sanders was the preeminent tenor saxophonist of the ’70s. In an America still reeling from political assassinations, human rights struggles, campus unrest, Vietnam, his gut-wrenching, cathartic wails and warrior fury were cauterizing balms to the collective psyche. Biased opinion #2: Sanders’ alchemic formula of Coltrane modals, African percussion, multi-tonics, blues mutations, yodels/tongues/spirits, focused chaos and mojo hands presaged the world music of the next decade. Biased opinion #3: 25 years after it was released, Black Unity is still the most prescient statement of cultural affirmation and solidarity that any musician (before or after) has ever transmuted to tape. Biased opinion #4: Black Unity is essential.

Originally Published