Jazz saxophonist legend Pharoah Sanders dies at 81

He was a traveling companion of John Coltrane in the 1960s and one of the pioneers of ethno-jazz, imbued with various influences. Information about his hospitalization was circulating in jazz circles at the end of the week. Pharoah Sanders passed away in Los Angeles.

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Pharoah Sanders, one of the most creative saxophonists of the 20th century, who had slipped African and Indian influences into his music, died on Saturday, September 24, at the age of 81. “We are devastated to announce that Pharoah Sanders has passed away. He passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends in Los Angeles.” said the Luaka Bop label in a press release and on social media.

Born Farrell Sanders on October 13, 1940, in Little Rock, Arkansas, Pharoah Sanders had had a great career as a leader. At the same time, he had worked in groups of artists such as Don Cherry, Alice Coltrane, Kenny Garrett among others, and before these, of course, John Coltrane. He was part of the legendary saxophonist’s group and participated in almost a dozen of his recordings, including Ascent in 1965 and the last sessions for Coltrane, who died prematurely at age 40 in 1967.

Late in his life, John Coltrane was beginning to venture into new musical directions that would come to be called free jazz. Sanders has embarked on this path. He is also considered one of the pioneers of ethno-jazz, that jazz whose rhythms and harmonies have their origin in other continents such as Africa and Asia.

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