“A jazz giant has died”: American saxophonist Pharoah Sanders is dead

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“A jazz giant has passed away”
American saxophonist Pharoah Sanders dies

With his spiritual music, with African and Indian influences, the American saxophonist Pharoah Sanders created a unique selling point. His passion was free jazz. In 2016 he was definitively appointed Jazz Master. He died in Los Angeles at the age of 81.

American jazz saxophonist and composer Pharoah Sanders has passed away. His record company Luaka Bop announced that he passed away peacefully on Saturday at the age of 81 in Los Angeles with his family and friends at the age of 81. The cause of death was not disclosed. Sanders was born on October 13, 1940 in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, and began his career in Oakland, California.

He became known in the 1960s when he played with John Coltrane in New York, among others. After his death, he continued to work with his widow Alice Coltrane and then performed as a soloist. Sanders released dozens of albums in the decades that followed, the most recent being titled ‘Promises’ – a collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra and DJ Floating Points – last year.

His passion was free jazz, a highlight is his work “Karma”, published in 1969, with his perhaps best-known work “The creator has a masterplan”. His spiritual music often referred to African and Indian musical traditions. In 2016, he was named a Jazz Master by the US National Endowment for the Arts – the highest US award for a jazz musician. “I always try to make something that might sound bad somehow sound nice,” he told the New Yorker in 2020.

In the spring of 2021, Sanders released another album with electronic producer Sam Shepherd aka Floating Points and the London Symphony Orchestra. It is his last work. On Instagram, many mourned the musician’s death: “Another jazz giant has passed away, but your melody will remain in our thoughts forever”, “Thank you for the gift of your beautiful art”, or “The world is a better place because of it’s what you did,” read some of the comments.

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