I've always admired the playing of Pharoah Sanders but often felt somewhat disappointed by a number of his Impulse recordings from the years after his tenure with Coltrane. Compositionwise they didn't always have a lot of appeal for me. 'Africa' however, recorded in 1987, is one of my absolute favourites. Sanders is accompanied by the great Idris Muhammad on drums, John Hicks on piano and Curtis Lundy on bass. Five of the eight compositions are by Sanders, one is by pianist John Hicks, one is a tribute to Trane ('Naima') and one is a beautiful standard ('Speak Low').
Sanders' playing throughout is superb, shifting between wildly frenetic (those screeching overtones that became his trademark in the sixties! I love it!) and highly intimate and warm. The four musicians cooperate beautifully. The whole cd exudes energy and joy. On the last tune ('Duo') Hicks and Lundy are absent, leaving sax and drums to improvise like Coltrane did with Rashied Ali on the magnificent 1967 album 'Interstellar Space'. Definitely one of Pharoah's very finest recordings.
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