Luaka Bop shares “Love Will Find a Way,” by legendary saxophonist Pharoah Sanders  | Shore Fire Media

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6 September, 2023Print

Luaka Bop shares “Love Will Find a Way,” by legendary saxophonist Pharoah Sanders 

(October 13, 1940 – September 24, 2022) 


“It made be blush”...Bedria Sanders on her role as Pharoah’s muse for this song of devotion<>


Pharoah, the forthcoming box set marks the first official remastered reissue of Pharoah Sanders’ seminal record from 1977, out September 15


The boxset is accompanied by never-before-heard live recordings, archival material and extensive liner notes and photography


The Harvest Time Project: A Live Tribute to Pharoah Sanders to debut in New York at National Sawdust Oct 14


Additional appearances in Amsterdam (Le Guess Who? - Nov 12) and Cologne (Stadtgarten - Nov 13)


Follow Pharoah Sanders’ footsteps around Europe the summer of 1977, on 


Pharoah Sanders, Jazz Middelheim, Antwerp, August 1977. Photograph by Rob Miseur / Courtesy of Centro Studi A. Polillo - Siena Jazz.


Today, Luaka Bop announce the release of 'Love Will Find a Way', the first single from Pharoah Sanders' crucial and expansive 1977 album Pharoah, set to be given its first official reissue in an embossed 2 LP box set by the label this fall. Described as a love letter to his then wife Bedria, 'Love Will Find a Way' is a passionate missive from an artist channeling the heightened emotions of a deep and true devotion.


As has been chronicled on The Harvest Time project website, Bedria Sanders became Pharoah's wife in 1974 and continued to support Pharoah’s music while they remained together, joining him on tour and even playing on this album. For this project, she shared her journal and memories from the time, which are included as part of the boxset.


The release of ‘Love Will Find a Way,’ a track with such intensity it brought the Daily News music critic Stan Mieses to his knees when he heard it live for the first time in 1977, also marks the release of tickets for live shows in NYC and Cologne, which will hear devotees of Pharoah's sound take inspiration from and reimagine the iconic album 45 years after Pharoah toured it across Europe.


Considered to be one of Pharoah's most unusual and important works, Pharoah bore the stamp of Bedria's influence beyond ‘Love Will Find a Way’: Pharoah also asked her to name his masterful composition “Harvest Time,” on which she played the harmonium - both the first time she'd played the instrument and a very rare occasion where Pharoah Sanders recorded with a member of his family.


Despite Pharoah’s initial reservations about the recording quality, on 'Love Will Find a Way' that sense of trust and partnership came to the fore. The result is a 14-minute vocal incantation and fevered improvisation dedicated to a relationship that always had something spiritual about it. The remastering of the album helps this piece shine on the record for perhaps the first time.


Bedria remembers hearing that song for the first time, and realizing that she was the inspiration for Pharoah’s effusive outpouring of love. “It made me blush,” she said. “It was just like—spontaneous, from the heart, in the moment.”


When Bedria met Pharoah after a show at Slugs in NYC, the magnetism of their mutual attraction brought them together. As Bedria recounts of her first impressions: "I saw him... it was like a blue light aura all around him, you know? I said, 'my God, what is going on here?'."


Listen to “Love Will Find A Way” here


And read more here:

Pharoah and Bedria Sanders. Personal photograph, date unknown. Courtesy of Bedria Sanders.


That aura produced an energy that everyone who played with Pharoah recognised, not least experimental guitarist Tisziji Muñoz, who in 1977 was hailed by one of the very few critics who actually were fortunate to see them play together as “the best soloist he's ever had in his bands” and whose solo on 'Love Will Find a Way' matches Pharoah's step for step:


"I'm not the same from that experience. No horn player would take it out the way Pharoah would take it out, with such command and virtuosity, and so much soulfullness... Give him a chance to go deep and strong, and he would frighten the ghosts from the area."


Performed live, the album was no different. NYC journalist Stan Mieses wrote of the "intensity" and "feverish pitch" of the band's Village Vanguard engagement in August 1977. Pharoah, he wrote, "got so loose he began blues-shouting on the finale, 'Love Will Find a Way'. What a rush!" 


Muñoz remembers what it was like to play ‘Love Will Find a Way’ live with Pharoah. “It was a mantra,” he said, “Something you could chant, something you could remember that was uplifting, simple, and meaningful. It was an inspiration and reminder to the public that we care about them and we want them to remember this very important thing. So, it wasn't just a tune that had social implications, it had very direct personal implications. See, love was finding a way through us to the people, and so love did find a way. Love always finds a way.” 


Shortly after that show, Pharoah would tour Europe and play the album live. It’s from this tour the two previously unreleased versions of “Harvest Time,” which were discovered through a dedicated research team located around Europe and which Luaka Bop include in their forthcoming box set, were recorded.


On Saturday October 14th the National Sawdust will host the first occurrence of the Harvest Time Project, an ever-evolving concert which will happen around the world, featuring a selection of different musical ensembles who will come together in different iterations to reinterpret Pharoah Sanders' seminal composition “Harvest Time.” Featuring Jeff Parker in NY along with the original Pharoah guitarist Tisziji Muñoz and Joshua Abrams as musical director, each performance will diverge from the others as much as Pharoah’s own wildly different live performances. Tickets and more information can be found here: 


With tickets now on sale for the NYC and Köln shows, contemporary audiences will have the opportunity to witness the evolution of that sound which, like those European tour dates in 1977, was never the same twice. 

National Sawdust tickets: 

Preorder/Presave ‘Pharoah’


(‘Pharoah’boxset cover art)


High-res photos & Album art:


Pharoah Sanders (October 13, 1940 – September 24, 2022)


Born in Little Rock, Arkansas at the height of the Jim Crow era, Pharoah Sanders was one of the last icons of his generation when he passed last fall, on September 24, 2022. He was handpicked by John Coltrane and played on his late-career masterpieces, and thereafter released a string of expansive recordings under his own name for the Impulse! label, which have been cited as a pivotal influence by everyone from Prince to Iggy Pop to Marvin Gaye. Over a career that spanned fifty years, Pharaoh recorded some of the most revered — and controversial — albums in jazz history, embracing a wild, anarchic sound that would reverberate across genres for decades to come, eventually winning a GRAMMY in the late ’80s. 


In 2016, the National Endowment for the Arts bestowed him with its prestigious Jazz Master title, the genre’s highest honor. His last album Promises, released in 2021 with Floating Points and the London Symphony Orchestra, was heralded as “a late-career masterpiece,” and was awarded Album of The Year in several national newspapers around the world, including #1 in TIME Magazine and The New York Times, and #2 in The New Yorker who called it “ extraordinary intimate experience…”.