Promises is an extraordinary, collaborative album by the electronic giant Floating Points and saxophone titan Pharoah Sanders. Five years in the making, the album features the London Symphony Orchestra and cover art by the acclaimed American artist, Julie Mehretu.
The album is composed and engineered by Sam Shepherd aka Floating Points, who’s second album Crush placed him on several 2019 critics lists. His debut album Elaenia has been hailed as one of the best debuts of the decade. It was also the release that made Pharoah Sanders want to work with him in the first place. A restless, ever-evolving producer and composer, Shepherd has toured with the xx, and also holds a doctorate in neuroscience.
For Pharoah Sanders, who recently turned 80, this is a rare outing and his first album in fifteen years. One of the last icons of his generation, Pharoah performed with John Coltrane on his late-career free jazz masterpieces, and released a string of expansive recordings under his own name for the Impulse! label which have been cited as a pivotal influence by everyone from The Stooges to Marvin Gaye.
The music unfurls, patiently, over nine movements, and 46 ever-undulating minutes. It’s a work of pure feeling, like no other record you’ll hear this or any other year.