October 1st was the three-month anniversary of the release of this album and so I wanted to celebrate that by starting to share a little behind the scenes of the songs on the album. So, today we’re gonna start with track four: “Love is Everywhere” composed by Pharoah Sanders and how it ended up on the album.
In March 1998, I saw Pharaoh Sanders live in Chicago at the Jazz Showcase. I was in Chicago with the NAU Saxophone Ensemble all the way from Flagstaff, AZ and we were performing at the NASA Conference being held at Northwestern. I was in my second year of college. I’m not sure how or why our saxophone professor, Wildy Zumwalt, arranged to have us all attend that show, but I’m forever grateful he did. I don’t remember the songs Pharoah played or even who he played with, but I do remember how I felt being taken on that sonic adventure. I was blown away and I remember thinking something like “are you even allowed to do that?” That experience planted a seed, although I didn’t know it at the time.
It took a while to bloom obviously, over 20 years, but in 2022, I dug back into the history of the music I was drawn to and rediscovered my love of the music and playing of Pharoah Sanders. I really wanted something of his on this album but nothing felt right until I heard “Love is Everywhere” - an almost 20 minute track from an album called Love In Us All, released in 1974. That feeling I had as a 20 year old came flooding back. And I loved the message! I was drawn to the album cover as well as the music. I really wanted to record it, but I wasn’t entirely sure which parts to use, what was “melody” and what was improvised. Rahsaan and I sat down shortly before the recording session, did some transcribing, and came up with an arrangement. The quartet had so much fun recording it and the band was so supportive of everything I wanted to try on this obscure tune that no one had ever heard of. We even did a band singalong!
This song is now the closer for all my live shows, and we get the whole place singing and it’s so incredibly beautiful, heartwarming and moving. It is my hope that you will sing along with the record when you listen to it. I really believe that we need to put as much love out into this world as we possibly can, this is one way I do. Sometimes we find love is the most unexpected places. After we came home from tour this past July, I was going through Instagram and found a post I’d made from April 2021 when I was out hiking and found a heart shape in a tree trunk. I got chills when I read that I had captioned it “love is everywhere “ ❤️