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Legendary jazz musician Pharoah Sanders has died

The saxophonist was 81-years-old

  • 25 September 2022
Legendary jazz musician Pharoah Sanders has died

Legendary jazz musician Pharoah Sanders has died aged 81.

The news was announced earlier today by label Luaka Bop, which released Sanders' acclaimed album 'Promises' in collaboration with Floating Points in 2021.

"We are devastated to share that Pharoah Sanders has passed away," the statement read on Twitter. "He died peacefully surrounded by loving family and friends in Los Angeles earlier this morning. Always and forever the most beautiful human being, may he rest in peace."

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Sanders, born Farrell Sanders in 1940, started collaborating with Sun Ra in the 1960s upon moving to New York, who allegedly gave him the name Pharoah. Soon after, he became a member of John Coltrane's band, playing with Coltrane until his death in 1967.

Alongside this and throughout the 1970s, Sanders began releasing his own records - largely on label Impulse! - with his debut album 'Pharoah's First' being delivered in 1965.

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Just last year, Sanders' first new album in over a decade was released. 'Promises' was the result of a collaboration with Sam Shepherd - aka Floating Points - recorded in 2019 with the London Symphony Orchestra.

"My beautiful friend passed away this morning," read Shepherd's statement following the announcement of Sanders' death. "I am so lucky to have known this man, and we are all blessed to have his art stay with us forever. Thank you Pharoah."

Niamh Ingram is Mixmag's Weekend Editor, follow her on Twitter

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