Pharoah Sanders: Live In Paris (1975) Transversales Disques (2020)

Another lost recording, but “studio quality” not bootleg, before a live audience auditorium recorded for radio broadcast, ORTF, Paris, 1975.

Selection: Love Is Here 1

.  .  .

The recording does not declare – mono or stereo. The sound stage is effectively mono, but there are vey small occasional differences in the left and right channel waveform. Pictured, the gain is slightly higher on the Right Channel (lower waveform) than the Left Channel (upper waveform), quite possibly an artefact introduced in restoration or mastering. I don’t see this magnitude of diference on other recordings

This aside, it looks mono, but I chose to rip in stereo to preserve any differences. Perhaps the remastering engineer was similarly uncertain, depending on how the Radio France engineers operated. Eitherway, it sounds good on the turntable.


Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone; Danny Mixon, piano, organ; Calvin Hill, bass, Greg Bandy, drums;  recorded at Grand Auditorium Studio 104, Maison de la Radio, Paris, France, November 17, 1975

Transversales  Disques is a French record label based in Paris, specialised in releasing long lost tapes and reissuing rare records & soundtracks. ORTF  is the French monopoly state broadcaster for TV and Radio. The source is INA (Institut national de l’audiovisuel) a French public foundation in charge of the legal deposit of French radio and television and the preservation of radio and television broadcasting heritage. I’m not sure how this recording qualifies as “lost”, unless misfiled, as French government bureaucracy is pretty good at paperwork. It is everything else that is anarchic. Perhaps “lost in time” .  .  .

INA has many hundreds of jazz videos from the golden years on-line, including Art Blakey Jazz Messengerson stage,Paris, Jazz in Marciac, Antibes Jazz Festivals, Jazz a Vienne, Cannes Jazz Festival, mostly 2-5 minute excerpts, some free, some require subscription.


A fabulous session, brought Pharoah to life for me. It is funky-spiritual, in the  Strata East vibe so worshipped by the DJ-tendancy, and I can hear why. Simple hypnotic repeating motifs. Lyrics, such as they are, are rhythmic chants rather than narrative.

On the selection  Love Is Here 1, the rhythm section maintain a sense of urgency driven by an unyeilding repeat bass riff. Pharoah floats above with simple melody lines punctuated with pedal-points, oblique harmonies, dissolving into a climax of distortion and dissonance, before returning to “normality”.

Pharoah has an extraordinary musical vocabulary, ranging from vocalising a ballad through the tenor, to whooping abstract sounds, to full on road-drill passionate shrieking. Not cacophony but with purpose in crescendo. Very powerful and emotional, I don’t think any other player reaches such heights. 

 I’ve been going around all day humming Love Is Everywhere . The sentiment is Universal Love, the ultimately flawed optimism of the flower power generation. Unlike transitory, romantic ” I Lurve You, Baby” of  a million pop songs, Universal Love makes no demands, like cleaning and washing up, or changing nappies, and comes with a groove fitted as standard. Luckily it is not exclusive, you can have both.

Vinyl : TRS 15 Transversales Disques.

Modern vinyl production, customary dj-affectation: track-listing for both sides on just one label, (consider yourself lucky to have any information).


Life in black and white, photos from rehearsal and performance. Bi-lingual text in fluent hipster-speak, mystic, cosmic and spiritual, complete with obligatory references to Sun Ra and John Coltrane, and Love Is Everywhere, hypnotic jazz funk.

Collector’s Corner

If a record is not easy to find, YouTube comes to the rescue, but without those all important scene-setting photos. Pharoah plays us out, starting  with the Coltrane classic I Want To Talk About You (Billy Eckstine/ Soultrane)

and Farrell Tune

and of course, The Creator Has A Master Plan


And the finale to the delight of the audience, just three words in English, everyone can join in, Love Is Everywhere


It’s one of those hipster “twists-cap-sideways” posts. And it is one of those “looking over your shoulder” posts. With uncanny timing, Mosaic Records weekly mailing today riffs a 2014 interview for WBGO with Odean Pope and Pharoah Sanders. Seems Pharoah’s suit was not back from the dry cleaners in time.

Odean Pope Sextet At The Blue Note

From left, American Jazz tenor saxophonists Pharoah Sanders (born Farrell Sanders), Odean Pope, and James Carter perform with Pope’s sextet at The Blue Note, New York, New York, September 10, 2014. (Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

Link to WBGO interview: hat-tip Michael Cuscuna.

If you stll have an appetite for 1970’s culture, forget Tarantino’s self-indulgent over-long Once Apon A Time In Hollywood, LJC recommends Netflix’s 19-episode Mindhunter.  Set in the decade of serial killers, the new science of “criminal psychology”, and fabulous cars, it is quite gripping. People in lockdown need to escape more – the past seems as good a place as any.




3 thoughts on “Pharoah Sanders: Live In Paris (1975) Transversales Disques (2020)

  1. Not sure how I was looking the other way when you upped this, but i have the lp on for the first time now, despite owning it for a while. I think I planned to leave it until I fixed my main set-up, but I am enjoying a new contact line cartridge, and it was nearby. It is blissfully relaxed and in that ideal Pharoah space that I love so much. I wanted to give you the heads up on another French Radio session that became an album, the Ahmad Jamal Marciac one. Will surely be on youtube if not on the ORTF site. He does not appear to have floated your boat in the past, as I could not see a specific side bar heading for him.

  2. If you’re interested in live broadcasts, check out this website:
    Every weekend they have re-runs of French concerts, which are archived and accessible (scroll down and you can access numerous pages with past broadcasts). Over the years I have recorded a lot of great music from this website, stuff like Les McCann and Basie with Lambert, Hendricks & Ross from Antibes 1963, some great Monk, Lateef and R. Kirk, Panama Francis with Tiny Grimes, Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach, and the list goes on. Sometimes the announcer intrudes, but mostly between songs.

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