Pharoah Sanders In the Beginning 1963 - 1964 This four CD set documents the first recordings of the iconic tenor saxophonist, Pharoah Sanders, prior to his well-known association with John Coltrane. Beginning with two previously unreleased sessions with Ornette Coleman alumni Don Cherry and Paul Bley, followed by Pharoah's debut date as a leader for ESP-Disk and concluding with the first issue ever of the complete the December 30 and 31, 1964 Sun Ra at Judson Hall concerts, Sanders only known recordings with the Arkestra the set also includes rare recorded interviews with Sanders, Cherry, Bley and Ra by ESP-Disk's music producer Michael D. Anderson. With Coltrane, Sanders would become known for extremely atonal blowing using extended techniques, but on his September 20, 1964 ESP session (as on most of his work as a leader) he does not go to those extremes. That's not to say that Pharoah's First is easy listening or not forward-looking for its time; the record consists of long tracks over 26 and 23 minutes. While the other musicians mostly work in an advanced bebop style with occasional nods to modality (mostly pianist Jane Getz's accompaniment behind the leader), Sanders is clearly the most progressive player, overblowing and using other coloristic effects, unleashing flurries of notes outside the chord progressions, and basically sounding as intense as the other four players combined. It's an important historical document of a major player. Sun Ra - Featuring Pharoah Sanders & Black Harold In 1964, Sun Ra asked the young tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders to join him, while Arkestra mainstay John Gilmore was busy working with Paul Bley, Andrew Hill, and Art Blakey. Before the recording's original release in 1976, Sun Ra stated: "It should be very interesting to the world to show what the pre-Coltrane Pharoah Sanders was like." Also appearing on "Featuring Pharoah Sanders & Black Harold" is the little-heard flautist, Black Harold (Harold Murray), who takes the lead on the track "The Voice of Pan," continuing into "Dawn over Israel." Bassist Alan Silva (ESP 1091) also does some fine bass work on the release. "Featuring Pharoah Sanders & Black Harold" is notable not only for its unique lineup, but also for the first known recording of the composition "The Shadow World," here titled "The World Shadow," which was featured on later Arkestra albums.