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tauhid

Spyro Gyra, Pharoah Sanders Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: grp records
  • ASIN: B000003N6S
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 349,439 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sanders and Sharrock - an amazing pairing 20 Dec 2002
Format:Audio CD
Just to add to what had already been said, I think it is important to mention that guitarist Sonny Sharrock features heavily on this album, and gives it a whole other dimension. I came to this album via freaked out rock (Sonic Youth) but I had already found Coltrane's Ascension disappointing. Ascension is a great statement, but how often do you actually reach for it to listen to it? It is simply too psychotic to be a good record. But Tauhid is simply beautiful, Sanders sax is so soulful and melodic it will indeed lead you to weep. Great tenderness but also violently emotional. The tunes themselves are wonderful, joyful, absolutely momentous. This is Pharoah Sanders' "A Love Supreme", where his expression finds the epic tunes it needs. Sonny Sharrock's guitar is a bit like the kind of mental drone sound you would find in the Velvet Underground. It is the best example of truly free guitar playing I ever heard. I devoted 3 years of my life to trying to play like this after I heard it... It is jazzier than SY or VU, yet a bit noisy. What a unique album...
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sanders at his peak? 20 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Well thats just an opening statement, and indeed question.
Sanders on the impulse record label, with John Coltrane was instrumental in the avant garde projects (see Ascension by john Coltrane).
Having outlived trane, and in his collaborations with John's wife, Alice, he pushes the envelope, and I personally think John would of approved.
Real african spiritualism, the promotion of a universal conciousness, directions signposted by Trane, are taken up here on Tauhid and others records Sanders recorded as front man and as Alice Coltranes lead musician, on her recordings for Impulse and warner brothers.
Sanders playing has the texture of Sonny Rollins, but while playing in a free environment, he still has an underpinning of melody, and plays with a beauty and emotion that can make you cry.
Highly recommended, perhaps one of the best of Pharoahs recordings, one that I come back to and amaze at a fresh each time of playing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different side of Coltrane-era Pharoah 8 Nov 2001
By A. Benjamin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
In late 1966, Pharoah Sanders was still a sideman in Coltrane's final quintet and had made his reputation for his wild and aggressive playing style. This early solo date shows the peaceful, meditative side to Pharoah's music -- a side that he would explore more in-depth after 'Trane's death. The focus of the first track (Upper Egypt & Lower Egypt) is on the rhythm section which provides a haunting soundscape that calls to our deepest ancestral roots as well as the present, and provides a beautiful canvas upon which Pharoah periodically provides some gently lilting flute and piccolo solos -- along with some very melodic sax work. The second piece (Japan) has the feel of an Asian folk melody. The third piece (Aum/Venus/Capricorn Rising) presents more of the fierceness that we Pharoah Sanders fans have grown to know and love, and passages point the way to his later sonic triumphs (e.g., "The Creator Has a Master Plan"). The late guitarist Sonny Sharrock is a treat to hear on this album.
Personally I consider any of his work from the late 1960s and early 1970s to be worth checking out. Tauhid is a good starting point to explore this important creative artist during an era where he was arguably at a creative peak. Unlike some of his subsequent albums, this ain't gonna tear the roof off the sucker, but it makes for some wonderful chill-out music for late at night.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has any musical recording influenced me more? 4 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I first heard Tauhid, and Pharoah, in the summer of 1969, lying awake in a walkup flat in Oakland, California at first light. That morning Tauhid became the summer's anthem. Like the time and the place, the music was lush and vibrant, at times dangerous, certainly portentous. But underlying his work was a restful quality that was absent in other freejazz artists who were bigger names, Miles, 'Trane, Ayler. They were really, really good, but Pharoah, he was great, man, he was great.
I left that album behind--it wasn't mine--when I left California for good later that fall. I began searching for Tauhid in the mid-'80's, but didn't find it for ten years. The music is better now than it was three decades ago. I own a lot of the Pharoah's recordings, but Tauhid, hey, it may be his best.
As does a really meaningful book, a really important lover, Tauhid "stays" with you even after long absence. I cannot recommend it more highly to any fan of beautiful-but-eclectic music.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Important Work 1 Feb 2000
By Connecticut Rooster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This album is where I first became familiar with Pharoah's work-besides Coltrane's Ascension. This is important stuff because it is an excellent departure in the spiritualist merge of three different civilizations: Occident, Orient, and African. All are intertwined within the genre of jazz. This is a movement that can be located in the works of other folks who played with Coltrane such as his wife. The music is a powerful statement.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Protege emerging as heir 27 Jan 2008
By Enrique Torres - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This record, available now on disc, was Pharoah Sanders first recording on the 60' and 70's jazz, giant label, Impulse. Sanders, at the time, was getting recognition at Impulse as Coltrane's second tenor. Enter extraordinary and prolific producer Bob Theile. He approached Sanders about recording a solo project, as a leader for Impulse and the rest is history. He eventually went on after Coltrane's death to record several albums for Impulse thus carrying the musical torch inspired by his mentor. This first effort explores the various styles that Sanders is known for. You will hear avant garde, as on the three part closing track, "Aum, Venus, Capricorn." The spacey title suggets being out there and no doubt the music explores the upper register of the universe via his horn. This particular style might not suit all but if you listen carefully, the "rage" subsides and the sweet melodic horn of Sanders permeates above and beyond the chaos. The song can sound like an exploding nebula at times but eventually the man brings us back down with the rapture of his Coltrane infused horn. Being a protege of Coltrane is clearly eveident. One of the most beautiful tracks is the extended "Upper and lower Egypt" that is pure bliss. The musical theme of world music is surveyed by Sanders before it was a genre. On this track we are given a gentle ride where musical passages slowly unveil his articulation. The taunting and teasing of third world music eventually gives way to Sanders' blowing away mightily and melodically. Hints of " The Creator Has a Master Plan," eventually surfacing on Karma, can be heard on this track. The hypnotic effect is unmistakeable. Sanders music is otherworldy but familiar; it is a paradox, harsh and gentle at different times, for ultimately, a serene effect. No doubt. The world music motif is further surveyed on "Japan." The result is a sparse, intricate journey on a musical rickshaw, where Sanders' vocalice is trying to express his impressions of a visit with Coltrane to Japan. Sanders' is all over the world map and beyond. This is a great introduction to Pharoah Sanders, where all of his early style and techniqie is displayed. Highly recommended for sax lovers(he plays tenor and alto), world music and jazz aficionados.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pharoah's first strong effort. 12 Oct 2005
By Michael Stack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
In November of 1966, Pharoah Sanders was at the center of the burgeoning "New Thing"s scene-- blowing tenor next to the godfather of that music, John Coltrane and having just completed his first studio session with trumpeter Don Cherry, Sanders entered the studio for the second time to record an album, this time for Impulse Records. "Tauhid" was the result of that sessions.

Assembling a band of then-unknown guitarist Sonny Sharrock, pianist Dave Burrell, bassist Henry Grimes, drummer Roger Blank and percussionist Nat Bettis, Sanders recorded two lengthy suites (each around 15 minutes) and one brief piece. Both the influence of Coltrane and Cherry can be heard, and while Sanders' vision is not yet fully realized, the path to the future is clear.

"Upper Egypt & Lower Egypt", the suite on the first side, clearly shows the influence of Don Cherry. The first section is a building, bubbling theme, driven by swelling guitar before dropping into an arco bass solo and eventually a piccolo performance (from Sanders) over percussion. This folds into the closing section-- a fantastic, guitar and piano driven riff over which Sanders solos fiercely-- utilizing his overblowing technique to gain the most of his expressiveness before wordlessly singing the theme.

"Japan", a brief interlude, finds Sanders vocalising microtonally over an Eastern-tinged theme. It certainly works nicely enough and has the wisdom to end before it gets irritating.

The closing suite-- three pieces performed in medley, is frantic and explosive-- "Aum" finds Sanders railing away frantically on alto before switching to tenor for the more meditative "Venus", where Sanders growls his theme before the piece moves into a totally free improv with Sanders, Sharrock and Blank all wailing around Burrell's framework. A rather nonlinear pizzicato bass solo moves into the third movement-- "Capricorn Rising"-- a brief theme statement on tenor that finds itself equally meditative.

A final note-- this album seriously needs remastering-- the sound on this release sounds seriously dated. But this flaw aside, this is a fine, if somewhat derivative outing from Sanders.
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