Pharoah Sanders - Shukuru LP
Label: Pure Pleasure
Pharoah Sanders' Shukuru is noteworthy as being the album that reunited Sanders with vocalist Leon Thomas, who sang on some of Sanders' most endearing and powerful compositions - among them the legendary "The Creator Has a Masterplan."
Thomas only joins the band on two tracks - "Mas in Brooklyn (Highlife)" and "Sun Song." The former gets a full calypso reading complete with steel drum sounds and chanted vocals traded between Sanders and Thomas. The latter is one of the true gems on the album - a pretty ballad that serves as both a launching point for Sanders' best balladry and Thomas' vocal, with the latter soaring in his upper register wordlessly between verses intoned in his trademark baritone. It's by and large simply stunning. The rest is solid, smooth Sanders, with great synth work and some spectacular solos from the man himself.