Experimental jazz titan Pharoah Sanders made a lasting impact with his unorthodox approach to tenor saxophone. In 1959 he moved to Oakland, California, where he played with rhythm and blues bands and befriended John Coltrane. Moving to New York in 1961, he drifted into Sun Ra's Arkestra after experiencing a difficult period of homelessness. His status began to rise upon joining Coltrane's band in 1965, where his discordant solos formed a strong contrast to Trane's more melodious sound, though each player had a strong impact on the other's subsequent work. Following Coltrane's untimely death in 1967, Sanders formed a quartet of his own with former Jazz Messengers pianist Lonnie Liston Smith, bassist Norman "Sirone" Jones of the Untraditional Jazz Improvisational Team, and drummer Majeed Shabazz.
For this blistering performance, given at the Antibes Jazz Festival of 1968 and broadcast on French radio station WDR3, the quartet moves through various Sanders free-jazz workouts, taking in "Venus" from the Tauhid album (1967) and "The Creator Has A Master Plan" from Karma (1969) along the way, with the rhythm section holding down the fort as Sanders blows himself into the stratosphere.