Sax man Pharoah Sanders still hitting the right notes

One of the finest tenor saxophone players of his generation, Pharoah Sanders returns to Japan to play three dates at the Blue Note in Tokyo from Aug. 20-23, before guesting with the Japanese jazz-dance fusion band Sleepwalker as part of Metamorphose, an eclectic one-day dance music/jazz festival taking place Aug. 26 at Japan Cycle Sports Center, Izu City, Shizuoka Prefecture.

Sanders was born Farrell Sanders in Arkansas in 1940, getting the nickname “Pharoah” from Sun Ra, with whom Sanders played after moving to New York in the early 1960s.

By the mid-1960s, Sanders was playing in John Coltrane’s band as that highly influential artist started to move into “free jazz” territory, performing on Coltrane’s 1965 album “Meditations.” He has also recorded many works as leader of his own band. Sanders is well respected by a younger generation of musicians, collaborating with artists such as Bill Laswell and Jah Wobble.

At the Blue Note, Sanders will perform with pianist William Henderson, bassist Nat Reeves and drummer Greg Bandy. Show times are at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., except Aug. 20 (6:30 p.m., 9 p.m.).

Tickets are 8,400 yen. (call [03] 5485-0088). The venue is an 8-minute walk from Omotesando Station on the Chiyoda, Ginza and Hanzomon subway lines.

Tickets for Metamorphose are 12,000 yen in advance. For more info, visit www.metamo.info/