Pharoah | Fall

A poetic homage to avant-garde saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, narrated by Jazz singer Charlotte Dos Santos
A visual celebration of legendary saxophonist Pharoah Sanders - YouTube

A poetic homage to avant-garde saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, narrated by Jazz singer Charlotte Dos Santos

Choosing to remain in the shadows, and always searching for the perfect reed, saxophonist Pharoah Sanders is one of the unspoken giants of jazz. He is one of the few musicians to have had the honor, and virtuosity, of playing alongside musical legends Sun Ra, John and Alice Coltrane, Don Cherry, and Ornette Coleman. Together they transformed the landscape of jazz by rewriting the rules of harmony and rhythm.

Pharoah | Fall is a poetic homage to Sanders on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Narrated by Jazz singer Charlotte Dos Santos, this film explores her journey with his music and spirituality. She opens up about the concept of metamorphosis, the practice of surrendering, and the influence of nature nurturing her world.

“Accept everything. Accept other people just the way you accept yourself” — Pharoah Sanders

“Fall is a season and a transitioning space,” says director Aurélien Bernard about the film title. “A place where opposites meet, a dance between gratitude and grief, the hiatus between life and death. This tension seems to be the frame we are called to endure in our modern world.”

“He’s probably the best tenor player in the world” — Ornette Coleman

After John Coltrane’s death in 1967, and with it his mentorship, Sanders became a master manipulator of music. His eleven-album run with Impulse! Records—from 1967’s Tauhid to 1974’s Love in Us All—brought new dimensions to music. He would chop and change his sound according to his interests; the suras of the Quran, Gospel music, polyrhythmic African drumming, and Indian spiritual songs are but a few. Reflecting on Sanders’ influence in a 2006 interview, saxophonist Ornette Coleman noted, “He’s probably the best tenor player in the world.”

“Pharoah Sanders’ music is unique. It has the power to heal and reconstruct. It teaches us that life and history are cyclical, as opposed to the concept of linearity espoused by the West,” says the director. “His music is a vessel for a universal message of peace, inner balance, brotherhood over individualism, and depicts the relentless motion of nature between chaos and harmony.”January 13, 2021

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