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: