Jewels Of Thought from Jewels Of Thought


dublab’s Mark “Frosty” McNeill asked some highly-attuned humans to share what flowed into their minds when listening to Pharoah Sander’s Jewels of Thought.

Jewels of thought from Jewels of Thought:

Seemingly simple yet as deep as anything I know. This record is truly a musical prayer.
– GB

How amazing and legendary the band itself is, how (at least with Roy Haynes) that was a mark of arrival and approval from the older guard in jazz, and how the budget for this album must’ve been more generous than most labels were willing to fork out for a jazz project in ’69.
– Ashley Kahn

Well…what flows into my mind when i hear Jewels Of Thought i say…beauty as a thought
But music to _G is based on feeling more than thought and this record invokes the same feeling that brings one to tears but also smile…That smile shines like the sun thru the clouds on a rainy day. Jewels Of Thought is a SpaceBase classic not so much thought with this record but one of the greatest feelings ever recorded.
– Ras G

Expansive and beautiful, these recordings make me think of a vertical hyperbola, where you have an infinite stretching upwards to the stratosphere and beyond, and a mirrored infinite stretching down, grounding us in the warm core and beyond, with the bass, and the only small part left untouched is what we know as our surface reality, the minutiae middle that consumes us everyday and can be left alone for once. The rhythm plays a part in both the upper and lower ranges–everyone in the group apparently played some percussion here–so the symbiotic blend of noise and tone, in general, and also specifically in Sanders’ solos, helps make the sound so immersive, filling out the spectrum forever.
– Julia Holter

Not only was ‘Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah’ the first Pharoah Sanders track I ever heard— it was my first exposure to a less straight-ahead, more spiritually-leaning jazz session. The tune occupied most of the b-side to a mixtape I was given when i was about 20. The tape was full of gems but this was the song I kept returning to. I’d never heard anything like it and a crucial door was instantly opened— I’m still chasing this sound 16 years later.
– Zach Cowie

What dances on my screen while listening to Jewels of Thought?
– Laraaji

When I think of Pharoah, he has always been adventuresome but at the same time in the blink of an eye one of the most melodic jazz musicians ever, which I believe is the secret of his success. Just when people feel that he is going out to the point of no return with all the pressure in the universe building to explosive levels, he will flip the script around and do something so beautiful and caressing that it not only disarms you, it makes you compelled to go the distance with him and when you do there is the orgasmic reward. Blessing.
– Dwight Trible

Does music get better than ‘Prince of Peace’?
– Gilles Peterson

The big wide sway that opens it and then Pharoah just appears in the midst, softly crackling around the edges, like a human fireplace, sparking, glazed, and frothy. It’s a power of being settled, and from that settling being able to call forth friendly lightning to any corner of the melody. It comes from mastery, and it’s the joy of strength exercised, the strength of being settled.
– Sun Araw

These sounds are the real thing, of African minds in the healing process. This is neuro-melanin in the raw.
– Georgia Anne Muldrow

When I hear Leon Thomas’s yodel come in, I think back to this interview he gave to James Briggs Murray at the Schomburg Center, saying that hearing the Pygmy tribes of the Ituri forest transformed his singing: “Man to hear a whole people doing this blew my mind. It wasn’t about Tarzan. It changed my approach to it so that it was integral to the very nature of my being.” So I think of these pygmies singing together deep in the Congo rainforest and it influencing the sound of free jazz an ocean away.
– Andy Beta

Prayer, praise, protest, prayer. The LP sounds more relevant than ever. A call to contemplation and clash. This music strongly marks a time in jazz history where abstraction was reaching for ascension and abandonment. Of the many so called “spiritual” jazz recordings, ‘Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah’ seems to reach into a very real and calming place, something hard to dislike, something universal. If “free” or “spiritual” jazz could have a hit, this is it.
– Jeffery Plansker

Pharoah has a truly unique way of taking music from sublime spiritual bliss to raucously fracturing our very idea of reality. Encapsulating all of this, Jewels of Thought is a classic in his canon – ‘Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah’ is the perfect companion piece to ‘The Creator Has A Master Plan’ and the supporting talents of Lonnie Liston Smith, Roy Haynes and Idris Muhammad complete the story to make this a classic jazz record as apt now as it was then.
– Mark de clive-Lowe

This album makes me remember home. I see myself in my church choir in Cincinnati watching my father preach. I didn’t have much responsibilities. I was around so much family. I was much more greener.
– Sudan Archives

To my mind, the best music seems like it has always existed. As if the melodies were always there in the ether; eternal facets of the universe waiting for someone perceptive enough to discover them. For me at least, Pharoah Sanders’ Jewels of Thought is this kind of music.
– Dan Snaith (Caribou/Daphni)

The first time I saw Pharoah play live was in 1970 at the famous Slugs club on the Lower East Side of New York. I was just an aspiring devotee wanting to hear one of my favorite artists. I sat at one of the front tables with my girlfriend from college as I thirst and drank deeply from Pharoah’s fountain of spiritual music. Never did I think that close to fifty years later I would be called on by British drummer and bandleader Emanative (aka Nick Woodmansey) to play on an album honoring one of his compositions ‘Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah.’ The critically acclaimed album was entitled, The Light Years of The Darkness and the trance-inducing melody was a joy to play for this collaboration! I felt so much closer to the composer of ‘The Creator Has a Master Plan’ as I intoned and fire breathed my solo paying homage to this creator!
– Idris Ackamoor

These impossible, effortless yodels!
– Dimlite

I first came across Pharoah Sanders through his collaborations with Alice Coltrane, and became enchanted by his sound. Jewels of Thought is magnificent, and I listen to it always as one complete piece, to trace its elemental pathway, with a sense of absolute wonder.
– Mary Anne Hobbs

Memories conjured:
• Learning to swim at the daycare near the intersection of Crenshaw and Slauson.
• Riding in my Dad’s gray Chevy Impala with the top down on a sunny day in the early 1970’s.
• Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn in the early 1990’s when I lived in NY my first time.
• Watching a show at the World Stage or 5th Street Dick’s in Leimert Park when Billy Higgins was alive.
• My weekly gig at Club Serenader in Oakland by Lake Merritt when I played with a blind pianist named Al Tanner and Pharoah would sit in on 2 songs every Sunday.
– Dexter Story

– Shafiq Husayn

Recorded in October of 1969 , Pharoah Sanders’ Jewels of Thought mirrors the climate of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s and is a powerful validation of how a dedicated artist expresses the social conditions of the day! All of the musicians involved in the project triumphantly interpret and embrace the music on a very spiritual level, but Pharoah & Leon Thomas in particular, seem conceptually joined at the hip!
– Phil Ranelin

I have been a fan of Sanders since the early ’70’s. I also was introduced to Cecil McBee and Lonnie Liston Smith on this album, and became fans of their work, too.

This album came out around the time of the King assassination and, for me, was putting out a call for world peace and harmony as reflected in the track Hum-Allah, particularly in the words, “Prince of Peace . . . Won’t you hear our pleas . . . And ring your bells of peace . . . Let Loving never cease”
– J D Emmanuel

This one is a true classic, that will long be remembered.
– Bennie Maupin