Pharoah Sanders at Yoshi’s

Pharoah Sanders at Yoshi’s, November 29, 2019, with Benito Gonzales, Tabari Lake & Marvin Smitty Smith

The first time I saw Pharoah Sanders, he was performing live at Seventh Avenue South, the Brecker brothers’ jazz club in Greenwich Village. That was probably 40 years ago.

I’ve pretty much gone to see him every chance I had in New York Jazz clubs, probably at Sweet Basil, Fat Tuesday’s, the Blue Note, Lush Life, the Village Vanguard, the Village Gate, Seventh Avenue South, Iridium, et al and lately at Yoshi’s in Oakland and SF Jazz.

It’s Nice To Have A Budding Louis Armstrong In The Building

USCGC Eagle, Operation Sail (1976) Parade of Ships

I was a fledgling photographer the year of United States Bicentennial. On July 4th, 1976, I photographed Operation Sail, which had 16 tall ships sailing into New York harbor. I sold my first photograph (more correctly, my picture agent, Contact Press Images, sold my first photograph) to the Brazilian magazine, Manchete, which they used as a full page in their OpSail story.

With the funds from the sale of that photograph, I bought a fluegelhorn. I had taken trumpet lessons in grammar school, but when it came down to a bike or a trumpet, I opted for the former.

In 1976, I lived in a brownstone on W. 76th St and as a courtesy to my neighbors, I posted a notice by the mailboxes asking when was the best time for me to practice. Of course, there were a lot of “Never” responses, but someone wrote, “Anytime. It’s nice to have a budding Louis Armstrong in the building.”

Originally published on Findery.com