We’ve had the tribute (2006’s Big M), so here’s the keepsake, a reissue of a Pharoah Sanders hook-up from the not-so-distant past, when the late Malachi Favors was still anchorman in Kahil El’Zabar’s trio. It’s a veritable gathering of the elders to be sure, driven by such a bellyfull of fire you’d never guess the sum of their respective ages. The sleevenotes wheel out the old AACM talisman: “Great Black Music—Ancient to Future”, and why not-as a mission statement it assumes more gravity with each passing decade, deepened by the kind of performances youth can’t buy. Showtimes brings a standard—“Autum Leaves”—and it’s all sinew and no sentimentality, Favors and pianist Ari Brown knotting the Joseph Kosma ballad from the outside-in. Cue Sanders’ entry and a tenor retort that’s lost none of its swarming revelation, blazing forebearance or sheer physicality over the years. After screaming in spiritual morse, Sanders drops a gear or two—and a dimension or three—as the piece reaches its resolution, dropping out completely for “This Little Light of Mine”, as Zabar’s ecstatic grunts stoke the swing and Favors steadies the ship with a calloused hand forever caught in time.
// Notes from the Road
"Marina's star shines bright and her iridescent pop shines brighter. Froot is her most solid album yet. Her tour continues into the new year throughout Europe.READ the article