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Profile Information

What instrument do you play?
Saxophones, flute, percussion instruments
Who influenced you to listen to jazz
God
How did you find out about the WDCJN?
www.washingtondcjazznetwork.com/profile/georgevjohnsonjr
My Website
http://http://www.pharoahsanders.net
Where are you located?
Los Angeles
Tell us about yourself


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.




The hallmarks of Sanders' playing at that time were naked aggression and unrestrained passion. In the yearsafter 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.

Pharoah Sanders (his given name, Ferrell Sanders) was born into a musical family. Sanders' first instrument was the clarinet, but he switched to tenor sax as a high school student, under the influence of his band director, Jimmy Cannon. Cannon also exposed Sanders to jazz for the first time. Sanders' early favorites included Harold Land, James Moody, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, and John Coltrane.

As a teenager, he played blues gigs for ten and 15 dollars a night around Little Rock, backing such blues greats as Bobby "Blue" Bland and Junior Parker. After high school, Sanders moved to Oakland, CA, where he lived with relatives. He attended Oakland Junior College, studying art and music. 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. Sanders formed his first group in 1963, with pianist John Hicks (with whom he would continue to play off-and-on into the '90s), bassist Wilbur Ware, and drummer Higgins. The group played an engagement at New York's Village Gate. A member of the audience was John Coltrane, who apparently liked what he heard. In late 1964, Coltrane asked Sanders to sit in with his band. By the next year, Sanders was playing regularly with the Coltrane group, although he was never made an official member of the band. Coltrane's ensembles with Sanders were some of the most controversial in the history of jazz. Their music, as represented by the group's recordings -- Om, Live at the Village Vanguard Again, and Live in Seattle among them -- 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.

Sanders made his first record as a leader in 1964 for the ESP label. 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. From 1966-1971, Sanders released several albums on Impulse, including Tauhid (1966), Karma (1969), Black Unity (1971), and Thembi (1971). In the mid-'70s, Sanders recorded his most commercial effort, Love Will Find a Way (Arista, 1977); it turned out to be a brief detour. From the late '70s until 1987, he recorded for the small independent label Theresa. From 1987, Sanders recorded for the Evidence and Timeless labels. The former bought Theresa records in 1991 and subsequently re-released Sanders' output for that company. In 1995, Sanders made his first major-label album in many years, Message From Home (produced by Bill Laswell for Verve). The two followed that one up in 1999 with Save Our Children. In 2000, Sanders released Spirits -- a multi-ethnic live suite with Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph. 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.

– Chris Kelsey, All Music Guide

 

 

 

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Comment Wall (7 comments)

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At 9:26am on May 29, 2013, WASHINGTON DC JAZZ NETWORK said…

BOHEMIAN CAVERNS

THURS - SATURDAY

14, 15, 16TH

At 12:12pm on February 16, 2013, Maxwell Price said…

Hey! Pharoah,

How are you? It’s been many years since I had the opportunity to talk with you the first time if you still remember your early concerts at the university of Toronto many years ago I use to also ask you to play one of your originals tunes which by now I don’t remember the name of that tune but whenever I seen you even at Slug’s back in the day I would ask you to play it. Anyway! I would like you to join me on W.D.C.J.N. you might also remember Byron Pope, in which we did a few recording sessions here in Europe some 20 years ago which I’ve posted. If you have a moment check out some of those sound tracks on my W.D.C.J.N.

I’ve been trying to spread the news here in Europe regarding George and the network.

Have a wonderful New Year!!!

 

Maxwell  

At 11:00pm on January 11, 2012, Kevin Hurst, Sr. said…

Got this live concert of you playing Giant Steps and it is so mean!!! I listen to it over again and it sounds so fresh. A Giant still among us it is a blessing to discover more of your music , that is what I use the internet for jazz, blues, history.- kev

At 4:04am on October 13, 2011, WASHINGTON DC JAZZ NETWORK said…

Happy Born-Day

We Love you madly!

Washington DC Jazz Network

At 5:44pm on March 19, 2011, Mario Pompei said…
 Thanks Pharoah often brighten many days of my life with your great sound, the best that I can learn. my best greetings
At 12:55pm on March 19, 2011, WASHINGTON DC JAZZ NETWORK said…

Dear Pharoah,

 

Welcome to our family...


The Washington DC Jazz Network


We encourage all members to participate in discussions, make comments on blogs, join special groups for networking, upload videos, music and a profile photo etc. To invite more friends click the share/invite button. Our goal is to reach thousands.. The more we network the more we grow as a close knit family and the more power we have to preserve America's Classical music "JAZZ".


Remember to follow your dreams. Your dreams are your destiny!  "MOMENTS NOTICE"


I love you~~~George V Johnson Jr, Executive Director & Founder, Washington DC Jazz Network

At 9:59pm on March 5, 2011, Kevin Hurst, Sr. said…
Man I heard you play a beautiful Giant steps in a live concert! Awesome structured solo I listen to over and over, refeences to Trane but pure Pharoah!- kev

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WALLACE RONEY

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Spread the word! The Legacy Continues! Coming to a City Near You! Revolutionizing Jazz with New Sounds!! The Wallace Roney Group fresh off tour with sold out performances in Vienna, Tbilisi Georgia, Germany, Switzerland, Amsterdam, Cape Town & Johannesburgh South Africa, Atlanta GA, Williamstown College and Scullers Jazz Club Boston Mass.

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GO FUND ME

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I think the idea is now for blacks to write about the history of our music. It's time for that, because whites have been doing it all the time. 

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George, thank you and thank GOD for blessing you with insight to create WDCJN!   The Network has been my connection to the greatest Jazz Legends alive today and Emerging Jazz Icons.  Many of whom I've met and collaborated with over the last 3 yrs after our introduction.  Its a Wonderful thing when Creativity collides with History, Experience and Cosmic Energy and that's exactly the vortex you've created with the WDCJN.  Keep letting your light Shine Brother,......... Keep letting it SHINE~~~Lou

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The Washington DC Jazz Network welcomes the phenomenal multi-instrumentalist WAYNE LINSEY, to the family. Currently the pianist on American Idol.(Shadd Piano). Has performed with Whitney Houston, Earth Wind & Fire, Baby Face, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Chaka Kahn, Nancy Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Janet Jackson, Mary J Blige, Ray Charles, Lionel Richie, Halle Berry, Frankie Beverly, Wayne Brady Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Oprah Winfrey Show, Steve Harvey, Arsenio Hall Show and the list goes on.

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The Article "Modern Drummer Magazine" Refused to Publish

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I strongly believe that technology is here to help the art form, not to overwhelm it, but tragically, with a very few, each day more and more scarce exceptions, the invention of the microphone, that is credited to the German Emile Berliner in 1876

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Benny Sharoni, an Israeli-born, Boston-based tenor saxophonist, can energize even the largest, most lackluster venue with his big-toned sound and ebullient phrasing, packed with intense emotion and spirituality, a vibrant hybrid of the hip and the holy."

First Wooden Clock by: BENJAMIN BANNEKER 

Using as a model a pocket watch he had borrowed from a merchant or traveler, Banneker carved wooden replicas of each piece and used the parts to make a clock that struck hourly. He completed the clock in 1753, at the age of 21. Due to its precision (it struck every hour, on the hour, and continued to do so nearly forty years) the clock brought fame to young Banneker. Thus he began a watch and clock repair business. The clock continued to work until his death. Read more....

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Put it this way: Jazz is a good barometer of freedom… In its beginnings, the United States of America spawned certain ideals of freedom and independence through which, eventually, jazz was evolved, and the music is so free that many people say it is the only unhampered, unhindered expression of complete freedom yet produced in this country.~~~Duke Ellington

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November 5, 2012

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October 29, 2012

MAXWELL PRICE
 
Present interest Jazz Sextet, performance and film, video, sound tracks, and music scores.
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My Testimony
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W.D.C.J.N. is one of the first American Jazz Networks to embrace the remaining truly great Jazz legends of our times and upcoming Jazz greats through today’s social media. 

The W.D.C.J.N. is now internationally reaching Jazz musician, enthusiasts and aficionados, promoters, festivals of Jazz around the world. A real eye opener for people researching the history and present day development an evolution of America’s only original art form and historical legacy.
I fully endorse this institution  "The Washington DC Jazz Network" and encourage anyone that is fond of Jazz to visit the Washington D.C. Jazz Network; today and become a member or make a donation to a worthy cause.

Sincerely!!!

Maxwell Price
Belgium
 
 
 

Nation's Highest
Honor in Jazz!!
 
lou donaldson

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Hello George, I am proud to be a member of the Washington DC Jazz Network (WDJN).
I am able to find out what's going on in town and on the east coast
and to network with other musicians. I get a lot of my news from the emails I receive from WJN.
I also would like to thank you for supporting the Jazz
program at Howard University in Washington, DC. Keep up the great work.~~~FRED IRBY

.
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Experience the Standard for Executive Education
 
Howard University Jazz Ensemble Fall Concert

The Howard University Jazz Ensemble will present it's Fall Concert @ Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel.


The guest soloist will be saxophonist Javon Jackson. Mr. Jackson is a veteran of the bands of Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Elvin Jones and Les McCann. There will also be a performance by AFRO BLUE, the award winning vocal jazz ensemble.
Critics have their purposes, and they're supposed to do what they do, but sometimes they get a little carried away with what they think someone should have done, rather than concerning themselves with what they did~~~Duke Ellington
.

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Bring the Entire Family!

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Bookings & Tours

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A Member of the Washington DC Jazz Network

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 Support the Network that Supports you!

 

 

W.D.C.J.N. is one of the first American Jazz Networks to embrace the remaining truly great Jazz legends of our times and upcoming Jazz great through today’s social media.
 
The W.D.C.J.N. is now internationally reaching Jazz musician, enthusiasts and aficionados, promoters, festivals of Jazz around the world. A real eye opener for people researching the history and present day development an evolution of America’s only original art form and historical legacy.

I fully endorse this institution and encourage anyone that is fond of Jazz to visit the Washington D.C. Jazz Network; today and become a member or make a donation to a worthy cause.

Sincerely!!!

Maxwell Price
Belgium

 

Carmelo Munet
Michelle Rosewoman
 
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