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Pharoah & The Underground
Primative Jupiter

 Pharoah & The Underground — Primative Jupiter (2x LP, July 2014)

USA Flag     Pharoah & The Underground — Primative Jupiter 
      Chicago/São Paulo Underground Feat. Pharoah Sanders
ιι   Live from Lisbon's Jazz em Agosto Festival, cornetist Rob Mazurek merges his Chicago and São Paulo Underground bands, adding bassist Matthew Lux and jazz legend tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, for a potent blend of modern jazz, electronics, and free improvised music.
ιι   Respected tenor saxophonist whose acclaimed records for Impulse! developed his freedom of expression in a spiritual and often introspective setting.
Birth name: Farrell Sanders
Born: October 13, 1940
Origin: Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.
Album release: July 26, 2014
Record Label: Clean Feed Records (CF300LP)
Duration:     76:03
Tracks:
1. Gna Toom      14:47
2. Spiral Mercury      9:00
3. Blue Sparks From Her      12:18
4. Asasumamehn      5:32
5. Pigeon      12:58
6. Jagoda's Dream      9:36
7. The Ghost Zoo      11:52
Personnel:
ιι   Pharoah Sanders — tenor saxophone, voice
ιι   Rob Mazurek — cornet, electronics, flute, voice
ιι   Guilherme Granado — synths, samples, percussion, voice
ιι   Mauricio Takara — cavaquinho, percussion, electronics
ιι   Matthew Lux — electric bass
ιι   Chad Taylor — mbira, drums
ι♠ι   Cornet player, composer and conceptualist Rob Mazurek is a man of many projects. One of them is of simple design but has many wondering implications: it consists in inviting a historical figure of the free jazz field to develop some work with combined approaches, his own and — because it’s a tribute — the guest’s. After doing so with Bill Dixon, short before his death, he came to Lisbon with no less than Pharoah Sanders, John Coltrane’s companion and one of the leading spirits of the pan-African mysticism. For that purpose, Mazurek crossed two of his main bands, Chicago Undeground (including Chad Taylor) and São Paulo Underground (the Brazilian improvisers Mauricio Takara and Guilherme Granado), adding the bassist Matthew Lux to the mix.
ι♠ι   The encounter happened as the final act of the 2013 edition of the most important jazz festival in Portugal, Jazz em Agosto, and this is the live recording of that unique event. It’s one more item in the Clean Feed series established in association with the festival organized by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and a special one. The music is an electrifying melting pot between jazz and free improvised music, with a tropical feeling and lots of electronics, something you never heard Pharoah do, but his tenor sax is all around, as it is his way of feeling and thinking. What a treat for our ears! (http://www.cleanfeed-records.com/)
REVIEW in portugal:
Texto António Branco:
ιι   O derradeiro concerto da edição deste ano do Jazz em Agosto era um dos que, à partida, prometia maiores emoções, pela junção de um nome histórico, Pharoah Sanders — luminária do free jazz (embora há muito desligado das estéticas mais livres) — a uma formação resultante da fusão do Chicago Underground e do São Paulo Underground, ambos liderados pelo cornetista e estratego sonoro Rob Mazurek.
ιι   Alguma apreensão havia sido gerada devido à deterioração, dias antes, do estado de saúde do veterano saxofonista, facto que esteve na origem do cancelamento de alguns concertos em Inglaterra e a um regresso forçado aos Estados Unidos, para tratamento. Mas Pharoah lá se restabeleceu e regressou à Europa, apresentando-se no palco da Gulbenkian visivelmente debilitado (a idade não perdoa, mais ainda aos 73 anos), mas conservando uma réstia da aura que fez dele um ícone incontornável do jazz afro-cósmico-espiritual, na senda das viagens interestelares de Coltrane.
Note-se a propensão de Mazurek para se rodear de antigas glórias do jazz, como já havia sido o caso de Bill Dixon com a sua Exploding Star Orchestra em 2009 (também a encerrar o evento). E se essa colaboração foi penosa, desta vez o resultado acabou por não ser muito melhor.
ιι   A curiosidade principal residia na avaliação da compatibilidade das forças sónicas em presença. Cedo se percebeu que a química necessária para um encontro verdadeiramente tórrido não estava lá. A base rítmica foi erguida por Mauricio Takara (percussões várias, eletrónica e cavaquinho, a incorporar sons do Brasil profundo que deram alguma cor à massa sonora), Chad Taylor (dinâmico, na bateria) e um inconstante Matthew Lux (baixo elétrico), coadjuvados por Guilherme Granado nos omnipresentes (e por vezes excessivos) teclados eletrónicos.
ιι   No centro das atenções acabou por estar Mazurek, que utilizou a sua corneta com e sem surdina, com e sem eletrónica acoplada, rubricando intervenções apenas pontualmente interessantes (as vocalizações, essas, eram mesmo dispensáveis).
ιι   Escutaram-se longas divagações em que o elemento rítmico foi privilegiado, com opcões francamente duvidosas, que Sanders, muito fragilizado, física e musicalmente, acompanhou como pôde. Quase abdicou de improvisar, tentou linhas mais longas — sobretudo nas secções atmosféricas, onde, ainda assim, encaixou melhor — para suprir a falta de energia, mas as evidentes dificuldades sobrepuseram-se.
ιι   Um longuíssimo concerto (com duas horas de duração) que acabou por valer, sobretudo, pela oportunidade de rever uma lenda viva do jazz, ainda que quase remetida ao papel de mera figura decorativa. (A.B.) Fortaken: http://jazz.pt/
Website: http://pharoahsandersjazz.com/
ιι   Pharoah Sanders possesses one of the most distinctive tenor saxophone sounds in jazz. Harmonically rich and heavy with overtones, Sanders’ sound can be as raw and abrasive as it is possible for a saxophonist to produce. Yet, Sanders is highly regarded to the point of reverence by a great many jazz fans. Although he made his name with expressionistic, nearly anarchic free jazz in John Coltrane’s late ensembles of the mid-’60s, Sanders’ later music is guided by more graceful concerns.
ιι   The hallmarks of Sanders’ playing at that time were naked aggression and unrestrained passion. In the years after Coltrane’s death, however, Sanders explored other, somewhat gentler and perhaps more cerebral avenues — without, it should be added, sacrificing any of the intensity that defined his work as an apprentice to Coltrane.
ιι   Pharoah Sanders (his given name, Ferrell Sanders) was born into a musical family. ιι   Sanders’ early favorites included Harold Land, James Moody, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, and John Coltrane. Known in the San Francisco Bay Area as “Little Rock,” Sanders soon began playing bebop, rhythm & blues, and free jazz with many of the region’s finest musicians, including fellow saxophonists Dewey Redman and Sonny Simmons, as well as pianist Ed Kelly and drummer Smiley Winters. In 1961, Sanders moved to New York, where he struggled. Unable to make a living with his music, Sanders took to pawning his horn, working non-musical jobs, and sometimes sleeping on the subway. During this period he played with a number of free jazz luminaries, including Sun Ra, Don Cherry, and Billy Higgins.
ιι   In 1964, Coltrane asked Sanders to sit in with his band. The following year, Sanders was playing regularly with the Coltrane group. Coltrane’s ensembles with Sanders were some of the most controversial in the history of jazz. Their music represents a near total desertion of traditional jazz concepts, like swing and functional harmony, in favor of a teeming, irregularly structured, organic mixture of sound for sound’s sake. Strength was a necessity in that band, and as Coltrane realized, Sanders had it in abundance.
ιι   Sanders made his first record as a leader in 1964. After John Coltrane’s death in 1967, Sanders worked briefly with his widow, Alice Coltrane. From the late ’60s, he worked primarily as a leader of his own ensembles.
ιι   In the decades after his first recordings with Coltrane, Sanders developed into a more well-rounded artist, capable of playing convincingly in a variety of contexts, from free to mainstream. Some of his best work is his most accessible. As a mature artist, Sanders discovered a hard-edged lyricism that has served him well.
ιι   Pharoah's First 1964 ESP-Disk
ιι   Tauhid 1966 Impulse!
ιι   Izipho Zam 1969 Strata-East Records
ιι   Karma 1969 Impulse!
ιι   Jewels of Thought 1969 Impulse!
ιι   Deaf Dumb Blind (Summun Bukmun Umyun) 1970 Impulse!
ιι   Thembi 1971 Impulse!
ιι   Village of the Pharoahs 1971 Impulse!
ιι   Black Unity 1971 Impulse!
ιι   Live at the East 1971 Impulse!
ιι   Wisdom Through Music 1972 Impulse!
ιι   Elevation 1973 Impulse!
ιι   Love in Us All 1973 Impulse!
ιι   Pharoah 1977 India Navigation
ιι   Love Will Find a Way 1977 Arista
ιι   Beyond a Dream 1978 Arista
ιι   Journey to the One 1980 Theresa
ιι   Live 1981 Theresa
ιι   Rejoice 1981 Theresa
ιι   Heart is a Melody 1982 Theresa
ιι   Shukuru 1985 Theresa
ιι   Oh Lord, Let Me Do No Wrong 1989 Columbia
ιι   A Prayer Before Dawn 1987 Theresa
ιι   Africa 1987 Timeless
ιι   Moonchild 1989 Timeless
ιι   Welcome to Love 1990 Timeless
ιι   Crescent with Love 1992 Evidence
ιι   The Trance Of Seven Colors 1994 Axiom
ιι   Naima 1995 Evidence
ιι   Message from Home 1996 Verve
ιι   Save Our Children 1999 Verve
ιι   Spirits 2000 Meta
ιι   With a Heartbeat 2005 Douglas Records
ιι   The Creator Has a Master Plan 2003 Venus
ιι   Love In Us All 2014
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Pharoah & The Underground
Primative Jupiter

 

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