Inside the Harvest Time Project, an ambitious archival initiative created for Pharoah Sanders’ website, is a simple story about the birth of ‘Love Will Find a Way,’ the brilliant sprint of a song that powers the saxophonist’s 1977 album Pharoah. The recollection was posted alongside the new video for the joyously saucy romp, which is an ode to making love to his then-wife Bedria Sanders:
Bedria was in the studio when Pharoah played ‘Love Will Find a Way’ for the first time and she remembers what it was like to realize that she was the inspiration:
“It made me blush,” she said. “It was just like—spontaneous, from the heart, in the moment.”
The memory was resurrected on Wednesday as part of the rollout to Luaka Bop’s new Pharoah box, a brilliant package whose centerpiece is the woefully overlooked 1977 album.
The recently launched Harvest Time Project has already delivered a fount of fascinating archival material that offers context to a period that found Sanders without his long-running label Impulse! Records.
One entry in the series captures events surrounded a 1977 gig in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Niels Christiansen, today a music writer and respected figure in the Danish music scene, was 25 back then and had booked the show, and also ran sound on the night. He first met Pharoah and his band when they landed in Denmark. “I remember that there was no eye-contact when I picked him up at the airport,” he said. “I wasn’t sure what was going on, but thought maybe it was related to whatever his experience had been coming through customs at the airport. At the show, I remember thinking Pharoah was a different kind of person. He kept to himself. He didn’t really acknowledge the fact that there was an audience, which I think surprised people. He walked around onstage without playing in the microphone.”
The newspaper review below appeared in the Danish daily newspaper Politiken, notes the entry, which offers an excerpted quote from the piece.
“It is the tone, its sonorous – and emotional expressive possibilities, that Sanders has succeeded not only in cultivating, but also in building on his Coltrane heritage with a deep personal commitment, that today he himself stands out as one of jazz’s great individuals,” the critic wrote.