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World Music CD Reviews Jazz

PHAROAH SANDERS/GRAHAM HAYNES

By ALLAN EVANS
Published June 5, 2006

With A Heartbeat
Evidence

Any new recording with master sax artist Pharoah Sanders is of great interest. His roots as John Coltrane’s partner (during the latter’s explorative late period) led to jazz’s most innovative and compelling progress, cutting into realms laden with African percussion, songs with Leon Thomas, and cutting edge integration of free playing with deep melody. His versatility is incomparable and the experience of hearing him perform live is absolute, as his concerts surpass recordings. His inclusion on a group effort with Haynes, tabla player Trilok Gurtu, Nicky Skopelitis on guitar, Jeff Bova on keyboard and bassist Bill Laswell finds his contribution overlapped onto a static rhythmic groove. One misses the interaction between players; it seems as if the great Sanders were invited to contribute a few solos, then incorporated into another musical zone. While his part and others’ are of interest, the whole seems incomplete, too stable rhythmically to have the energy and earthiness of Sanders-as-leader.