*1940-10-13, † 2022-09-24
Pharoah Sanders (born Ferrell Lee Sanders; October 13, 1940 – September 24, 2022) was an American jazz saxophonist. Known for his overblowing, harmonic, and multiphonic techniques on the saxophone, as well as his use of "sheets of sound", Sanders played a prominent role in the development of free jazz and spiritual jazz through his work as a member of John Coltrane's groups in the mid-1960s, and later through his solo work. He released over thirty albums as a leader and collaborated extensively with vocalist Leon Thomas and pianist Alice Coltrane, among many others. Fellow saxophonist Ornette Coleman once described him as "probably the best tenor player in the world". Sanders' take on “spiritual jazz” was rooted in his inspiration from religious concepts such as Karma and Tawhid, and his rich, meditative performance aesthetic. This style was seen as a continuation of Coltrane's work on albums such as A Love Supreme. As a result, Sanders was considered to have been a disciple of Coltrane or, as Albert Ayler said, "Trane was the Father, Pharoah was the Son, I am the Holy Ghost".