Promises Image
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 32 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
Buy On
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Mar 30, 2021
    100
    Recorded over the course of five years, this extraordinary collaboration deserves excellent speakers and a soft couch to catch the swooning listener.
  2. Mar 26, 2021
    100
    It is a key work – a significant milestone – in the grand history of not only Sanders’ career, but the whole free jazz style he helped pioneer. ... This is a truly joyous album, and a purely pleasurable experience.
  3. Mar 26, 2021
    90
    There’s a timeless quality to Promises, an inscrutable sense that the album could hail from 30 years in the past or 30 years into the future.
  4. Mar 29, 2021
    87
    “Movement 9”, at just two and a half minutes, puts a resplendent cap on proceedings, the LSO’s strings tying things off with forlorn grace and pomp. It’s like an echo of what’s come before, the tremors from the encounter between Sanders and Shepherd resonating out into the infinitude. It leaves us in no doubt that we have just witnessed a meeting of monolithic proportions.
  5. Rolling Stone
    Apr 6, 2021
    80
    Eighty-year-old sax great Sanders pushes his sound to its most heavenly extreme. [Apr 2021, p.73]
  6. Mar 25, 2021
    80
    Not until the latter half of the album does the orchestra fully come alive, with a rich and immersive passage on Track 6 — sometimes regal, sometimes bluesy — that almost eclipses the motif, but not quite. And then there is Sanders’s tenor saxophone, a glistening and peaceful sound, deployed mindfully throughout the album. He shows little of the throttling power that used to come bursting so naturally from his horn, but every note seems carefully selected.
  7. Uncut
    Mar 23, 2021
    70
    Promises is an impressive collision of talents, and sublimely lovely in places, but also frustratingly slight. A minor addition to the canon of its two main authors, it earns the double-edged compliment of all half-great albums: it leaves you craving more. [May 2021, p.30]

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Mar 31, 2021
    10
    I don't think I've ever been as emotionally affected by a first listen of an album as I was by this. It's an extraordinary piece of work. It'sI don't think I've ever been as emotionally affected by a first listen of an album as I was by this. It's an extraordinary piece of work. It's delicate, confident and incredibly moving. It's so wonderful to sit back and listen and imagine what Sanders and Shepherd were trying to get us to think as we listen. I think something different every time, from the wistful to the sad to the uplifted and any album that inspires that in a listener is one to treasure. Expand
  2. Mar 31, 2021
    10
    Promises is the elegy for 2020. It brings tears of poignancy.

    If the repeating arpeggio represents hope, and the silence after the arpeggio
    Promises is the elegy for 2020. It brings tears of poignancy.

    If the repeating arpeggio represents hope, and the silence after the arpeggio is despair, then Pharaoh Sanders is humanity navigating between the two.
    Expand
  3. Apr 1, 2021
    10
    best album of the 21st century, a world of beauty i have never experienced.
  4. Apr 1, 2021
    10
    Pretty sure I seized listening to this. Movement 6 cemented this as the album of the year for me.

    This is incredible.
  5. Apr 5, 2021
    9
    Promises is a difficult record to describe. All I can say is that the writing is mind expanding, the playing is strong and Sam and hisPromises is a difficult record to describe. All I can say is that the writing is mind expanding, the playing is strong and Sam and his chemistry with Mr Sanders is truly awe inspiring. Also its neat as f**k that Sam got to record with Pharoah as a huge fan of his!

    Mind blowing record,. Check itout!
    Expand
  6. Apr 5, 2021
    7
    Extraordinary, reflective&poignant. An experience everyone should have. Favourites: movement 1,2,5,8
  7. Mar 31, 2021
    0
    While the album does receive critical acclaim, for some people, including me, it just doesn't hit the spot.