Pharoah Sanders, Floating Points & The London Symphony Orchestra – Promises (2021, Luaka Bop)
Since I mentioned this on Day 5, it seems only natural and right that Day 6 should be this wonderful record from Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders and The LSO. I’m not going to say much of anything about it; I know there were many reviews of this album and I am sure many of them are also wonderful. The album was conceived and recorded during the pandemic and somehow felt like the album we needed, even if we may not have deserved it. A proprietor of a local record shop where I live didn’t like it, he complained that it sounded “new age” — a characterization that I think is neither accurate nor fair – and that Pharoah barely plays on it, and is too subdued. But (as I mentioned yesterday) the mood here is very introspective, and feels like a musical meditation on the passing of time, on the luxury and strangeness of having lived to an old age. Any new worlds that Pharoah may seek to discover at this point are more subtle than the soaring heights of his youthful work, somewhere in between the planes, teetering suspended between the flesh and the disincarnate. I have this one on vinyl, but I’m still digesting it, so it’s not the version I’m sharing here.