British artist Sam “Floating Points” Shepherd is the anchor here, an electronic free thinker with a neuroscience doctorate. He supplies recurring leitmotifs and Promises’s sense of gossamer, largely peaceable inquiry. Jazz legend Pharoah Sanders should need no introduction; in his first recordings for more than 10 years, the saxophonist mostly holds off the free skronk of some of his most famous recordings in favour of his other mode: deeply felt spiritual jazz interventions. (Sanders’s wordless vocals also add to the promise of Promises.) Halfway through, the forward-thinking London Symphony Orchestra strings turn up and the dappled otherworldliness enters a more cinematic and canonical phase, but hardly to the detriment of the piece overall, instead adding depth and weight.
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