This record’s origin story is as elusive as Pharoah himself. It was born out of a misunderstanding between Pharoah and the India Navigation producer Bob Cummins, and was recorded with a group of musicians so unlikely that they were never all in the same room again. There was the guitarist Tisziji Muñoz, who would go on to become a spiritual guru, the organist Clifton “Jiggs” Chase, who would leave jazz to take a job at Sugar Hill Records, where he would co-write and produce “The Message” for Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and Bedria Sanders, Pharoah’s wife at the time and a classically trained pianist, who would play the harmonium on this record even though she had never seen a harmonium before. The confluence of surprising circumstances that surrounded the making of this record, though at the time seemed like limitations, only fueled its brilliance. It would go on to become one of Pharoah’s most beloved records, and would be recognized as one of the great works of the 20th century.
With Pharoah Sanders’ blessing, this new box set presents the definitive, remastered version of “Pharoah“, his seminal record from 1977, along with two previously unreleased live performances of his masterpiece “Harvest Time.” The accompanying 24-page booklet includes rarely seen photographs, interviews with many of the participants, and a conversation with Pharoah himself.