This release in a series of live recordings of concerts from the Fabrik in Hamburg-Altona, one of those hidden treasures from the archive of the NDR, was intended to bring back the memory of changes and revolutions in the world of jazz of more than four decades ago. It has now turned into an obituary - at the end of September 2022 the tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders passed away at the age of 81.
This recording of the Sanders Quartet from 6 June 1980 is so far the oldest from the Fabrik, predating the great jazz-epoch of the venue. An era, which even today Thomas Engel, the first program planner of the Fabrik, describes as a very special period for popular and not-so-popular culture in Hamburg and far beyond. Furthermore, this concert formed part of the then fifth edition of what was still called the New Jazz Festival, a summit of German, European and US-American musicians. Only thanks to the NDR Bigband, top-class jazz was performed at the old industrial site on Barnerstrasse in Altona at all.
In the mid-1970s, the band was brave enough to leave its familiar recording studio and perform rousing concerts at the Fabrik. Since 1976, the New Jazz Festival organised by Wolfgang Kunert, the program planner of the big band, institutionalised jazz music at this exceptional location.