Revered jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders has died peacefully aged 81 surrounded by his loved ones.
News the musician – whose playing has been hailed a “force of nature” – had passed was confirmed by his record label, Luaka Bop.
It said on Twitter: “We are devastated to share that Pharoah Sanders has passed away.
“He died peacefully surrounded by loving family and friends in Los Angeles earlier this morning.
“Always and forever the most beautiful human being, may he rest in peace.”
Pharoah’s representative Anna Sala added his death was a “huge loss for the music world”, telling CNN: “His work influenced many generations of artists.”
Prolific Pharoah’s discography includes more than 30 albums dating back to 1965.
Born in Arkansas, he collaborated with jazz icons including John Coltrane and in 1988 earned a Grammy for best jazz instrumental performance, group, for his work on ‘Blues for Coltrane – a Tribute to John Coltrane’.
His style was so “transcendent” some referred to it as “spiritual jazz”.
British electronic producer Floating Points is among those who have paid tribute, saying online: “My beautiful friend passed away this morning. I am so lucky to have known this man, and we are all blessed to have his art stay with us forever. Thank you Pharoah.”
Born Farrell Sanders in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1940, the saxophonist’s career started in Oakland, California.
After moving to New York in the 1960s, he started collaborating with Sun Ra, who gave him the name Pharoah, before he joined John Coltrane’s band and played with his fellow saxophonist until John’s death in 1967.
He had continued to tour and collaborate throughout the 2000 and in the mid-2010s, Pharaoh heard a composition by the British electronic producer Sam Shepherd, AKA Floating Points, and asked to collaborate with him.
Their 2021 album ‘Promises’, recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra and highly acclaimed, was Pharoah’s first new album in more than a decade.