The legendary saxophonist, who died at 81 this week, saw music as a route toward holiness.
To hear Pharoah Sanders tell it, he spent his six-decade career reaching for something that was always just beyond him. From the ecstatic flights of his playing, and the sometimes explicitly religious iconography he employed to contextualize it, it is clear that the something he sought had a spiritual dimension. But for all his yearning toward a higher plane, the giant of jazz saxophone—who died on Saturday at 81 years old—also remained rooted in earthly things.
Source: Remembering Pharoah Sanders, Who Sought Divinity on Earth