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This album contains a master plan
The creator has a master plan
Peace and happiness for every man
- "The Creator Has a Master Plan"
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Karma is a album Afro-American jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders released in 1969 on Impulse! Records.

Sanders' third recording as a bandleader, it would see Sanders expanding upon the "spiritual jazz" that had been initially had been started by John Coltrane. The record would be noted for its incorporation of Afrocentric spiritualism, seamless interweaving of long, relaxed intervals and feverish cacophony, and a deep sense of rhythm and melodiousness. It would also feature vocal and lyrical contributions from burgeoning free jazz vocalist Leon Thomas, who would himself showcase his own idiosyncratic form of vocalese on the album.

Karma would receive near uniamous acclaim in retrospective reviews. As the opener and centerpiece of the record, "The Creator Has a Master Plan" would end up receiving airplay on FM radio at the time and with some even considering the record to be a Spiritual Successor to Coltrane's A Love Supreme. It would also be a significant influence upon the acid jazz movement, with some considering the record an Ur-Example for the genre.

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Tracklist

  1. "The Creator Has a Master Plan" (32:46)note 
  2. "Colors" (5:37)

Personnel

  • Pharoah Sanders — tenor saxophone
  • Leon Thomas — vocal, percussion
  • Julius Watkins — french horn
  • James Spaulding — flute on "The Creator Has a Master Plan"
  • Lonnie Liston Smith — piano
  • Reggie Workman — bass
  • Richard Davis — bass on "The Creator Has a Master Plan"
  • Ron Carter — bass on "Colors"
  • Billy Hart — drums on "The Creator Has a Master Plan"
  • Freddie Waits — drums on "Colors"
  • Nat Bettis — percussion on "The Creator Has a Master Plan"

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The Creator Has a Master Trope

  • All Drummers Are Animals: The third section on "The Creator Has a Master Plan" would lead you to believe that Billy Hart and Nat Bettis had no house training as children.
  • Avant-Garde Music
  • Broken Record: "The Creators Has a Master Plan" is this. With only one set of lyrics being repeated with slight variations in a mantra like fashion followed by "yeah" being repeated in the same mantra-esque manner.
    The creator has a working plan
    Peace and happiness for every man
    The creator has a working plan
    Peace and happiness for every man
    The creator has a master plan
    Peace and happiness for every man
    The creator has a master plan
    Peace and happiness for every man
    The creator makes but one demand
    Peace and happiness through all the land
    The creator makes but one demand
    Happiness…..through all the land
  • Careful with That Axe: Excluding the melodic sections on "The Creator Has a Master Plan", Pharoah shreds his life away on that track, especially in the third section of it.
  • Concept Album: Similar to A Love Supreme, can be interpreted as expressing gratitude to a creator god who gave us life and inspiration to play music.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: One of the most infamous in jazz music.
  • Epic Rocking: "The Creator Has a Master Plan" is literally thirty minutes. The LP split the track in two to lighten this, however, both tracks would still be over the twelve minute mark, with the first half still almost hitting twenty minutes.
  • Face on the Cover: The album cover is Sanders sitting in a meditative stance.
  • God-Is-Love Songs: Essentially what "The Creator Has a Master Plan" is.
  • In Harmony with Nature: Essentially what "Colors" is about.
  • Jazz: Of the free jazz and the spiritual jazz varieties. Both genres of which it had become a seminal release for.
  • Limited Lyrics Song: Along with Broken Record mentioned above, neither track has anymore lyrics than a spoken mantra. "Colors" is practically a Single Stanza Song because of it.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: A saxophone version on "The Creators Has a Master Plan".
  • Meaningful Name: Karma is a spiritual concept which normally alludes to destiny or fate, following as effect from cause. The album would be doused in spiritual concepts with the first track essentially being a tribute to the God who made the system of fate to behind with.
  • Mother Nature: Referred to on "Colors":
    Mother Nature seems to love us so
    When she smiles there is a subtle glow
    And with tears of joy, the happiness flows
  • Scatting: Leon Thomas does a unique variation on this, utilizing a glottal stop vocal style and seemingly yodelling on the record.
  • Shout-Out: The opening of "The Creator Has a Master Plan" features a prelude that has Sanders begin playing in a Lyrical Cold Open, before the entrance of the double bass figure which underpins much of the piece. It has since been considered a homage to John Coltrane. As Trane's seminal record, A Love Supreme, did the exact same thing on its opening track.
  • Spiritual Successor: Karma is commonly considered one to A Love Supreme, given their similar spiritual subject matter, use of then avant-garde instrumental techniques and their similar openings.

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