Pharoah Sanders’ ‘Karma’ Set To Return On Vinyl In December

The 180-g black vinyl release is the latest title in Verve/Ume’s audiophile reissue series.

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'Karma' album artrwork courtesy of Verve/UMe

Pharoah Sanders’ classic 1969 album Karma will be pressed on 180-gram black vinyl as part of Verve/UMe’s acclaimed audiophile vinyl reissue series, Acoustic Sounds. Due for release December 16th, the album is being mastered by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound from the analog tapes and will come housed in a high-quality tip-on deluxe gatefold jacket.

Like all Acoustic Sounds releases, production is being supervised by Chad Kassem, CEO of Acoustic Sounds, the world’s largest source for audiophile recordings, and will utilize the unsurpassed production craft of Quality Record Pressings. This reissue honors the late jazz legend who passed away in September at the age of 81 and concludes the series for 2022.

Shop the best of Pharoah Sanders’ discography on vinyl and more.

Released in May of 1969, Karma was the tenor saxophonist’s third Impulse! Records album and is now seen as a milestone of the Spiritual Jazz movement. A natural progression in the sonic exploration that Sanders, along with John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane, had spearheaded over the previous five years, the album features two tracks “The Creator Has A Master Plan,” and “Colors.” Filling the entire A-Side of the LP, “Creator” is as close as Spiritual Jazz comes to having its own anthem. Meanwhile, the lone B-side track, “Colors,” is no less transfixing.

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Since launching in 2020, Verve/UMe’s all-analog vinyl reissue series, Acoustic Sounds, has provided definitive, best-in-class audiophile grade pressings of some of the most important and beloved jazz records of all time, each mastered from the original tapes and produced with the utmost care. The nearly two dozen releases to date feature many of the timeless, classic albums from the Verve Label Group’s stable of labels including Decca, EmArcy, Impulse! Records, Philips Records and Verve.

Releases this year have included John Coltrane’s Live At The Village Vanguard (Impulse!, 1962) and Crescent (Impulse!, 1964), John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman (Impulse! 1963), Duke Ellington & John Coltrane (Impulse!, 1963), Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins (Impulse!, 1963), Bill Evans’ Trio 65 (Verve, 1965), Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong’s Ella & Louis (Verve, 1956) and Ella & Louis Again (Verve, 1957), Oscar Peterson’s We Get Requests (Verve, 1964).

The Acoustic Sounds series has been celebrated by music fans and the press alike for exceeding expectations. Of the Nina Simone LPs, vinyl authority Analog Planet exclaimed, “The sound of both of these records is the best that’s been produced from these tapes and both records are well worth owning.” Regarding the John Coltrane LPs, the publication raved: “A 100% top to bottom success and is easy to recommend,” adding, “everything about these two Coltrane releases from the Stoughton press laminated tip-on jackets to the outstanding mastering and pressing exudes the highest quality experience offered by all-analog records.”

Paste meanwhile declared, “the mastering engineers at AS have achieved some astonishing results. The Armstrong/Peterson collaboration is spotless, with a presence that makes it feel like drummer Louis Bellson is playing in the same room, and a clarity that lets little details and noises from these 60+ year old sessions float to the surface. The groundbreaking collaboration between saxophonist Stan Getz and Brazilian guitarist/vocalist João Gilberto is perhaps even better. The spell that this album of cool bossa nova casts feels as heady and intoxicating as ever, with guest vocalist Astrud Gilberto popping up throughout to curl around every note like a rich green vine. These are, without question, the definitive pressings of these albums.”

Pre-order Karma.

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