Researching for a Jazz-Eid celebration at school this week has led me to the music of Pharaoh Sanders, Yusef Lateef and Albert Ayler. I’ve only really scratched the surface, but it’s instantly intriguing, searching music that seems to excite and calm in equal measure. It’s extremely creative music, open to all kinds of influences, and as often with jazz you share the sense of mutual exploration and stepping into the unknown. Tracks like ‘Eboness’ by Lateef are spontaneous and energetic but give you time to think; perhaps it’s the spaciousness that makes it seem such a spiritual experience. You feel you’ve travelled somewhere; and by the end of a track like Sander’s ‘Prince of Peace’ it’s as if a prayer has been recited. Maybe music is often close to being a prayer – but a universal prayer without words, expressing some deep-down creative spark and longing for the light.
Anyway lots more listening to be done! But try these for starters:
Yusef Lateef, ‘Happyology’ https://youtu.be/ruv3pUMHlrE
Pharaoh Sanders, ‘Prince of Peace’ https://youtu.be/WkAqreTNYc8
Albert Ayler, ‘Music is the Healing Force of the Universe’ https://youtu.be/GT0rPh_blM0