Pharoah Sanders

The Complete ESP-Disk' Recordings

Reissued and Expanded!

ESP-Disk's second jazz release captured Pharoah Sanders before most of the jazz world had any idea who he was, a year before he started playing with John Coltrane. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1940, Sanders moved to California after high school and played in R&B bands. He moved to New York in 1962 and fell on hard times; he met Sun Ra while working as a chef. He made one session in '63 with Don Cherry (for Savoy, still unreleased), and the next year performed in the Sun Ra Arkestra.

With Coltrane, Sanders would become known for extremely atonal blowing using extended techniques, but on his September 20, 1964 ESP session (as on most of his work as a leader) he does not go to those extremes. That's not to say that Pharoah's First is easy listening or not forward-looking for its time; the LP consists of two side-long tracks over 26 and 23 minutes. While the other musicians mostly work in an advanced bebop style with occasional nods to modality (mostly pianist Jane Getz's comping behind the leader), Sanders is clearly the most progressive player, overblowing and using other coloristic effects, unleashing flurries of notes outside the chord progressions, and basically sounding as intense as the other four players combined. It's an important historical document of a major player.

This 2005 edition, remastered from the original tapes, for the first time augments the contents of the original LP with insightful and entertaining interview clips detailing Pharoah's early experiences as a young musician in New York.


Pharoah Sanders: tenor saxophone
Stan Foster: trumpet
Jane Getz: piano
William Bennett: bass
Marvin Pattillo: percussion

Track Listing

1.Seven by Seven26:202.Bethera23:403.Bernard Stollman meets Pharoah Sanders0:574.Coming to New York0:285.Meeting Sun Ra1:236.Meeting John Coltrane2:117.Comments on other musicians1:518.Playing with Don Cherry2:159.The Scene1:1810.Why the music changes2:11

All compositions by Pharaoh Sanders (2005 Syndicore Music BMI/Ferrell Sanders Music BMI). All interviews 2005 MDA Music, Inc.


Recorded September 20th 1964. Engineer: Jerry Newman. Cover design: Jordan Matthews. Photos by Ray Foss. Tracks 1 & 2 mastered for CD by Bernard Fox.

Press Quotes

"a real historical gem" - The Daily Jazz

"a crucial workshop puzzle-piece that gives historians of improvised music one very important look at Pharoah Sanders and his young, big ideas." - Clifford Allen, All About Jazz

Musicians: Pharoah Sanders / Stan Foster / Jane Getz / William Bennett / Marvin Pattillo

Play the samples

Digital download 320 kps MP3 DRM Free Includes artwork & liner notes 134.25 MB zipped
Compact Disk In Jewel Case with liner notes Re-mastered from origial tapes Digital download included
  • Product Code: ESP4008
  • Availability: In Stock
  • Digital Download $8.99

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