Pharoah Sanders recorded the songs that comprise Thembi in the winter of 70/71, in between sessions with Alice Coltrane that would eventually become her masterpiece Journey In Satchidananda LP. The same compelling spirituality that embued Coltranes masterpiece with a mood of stately calm and grace pervades Thembi. On Thembi, that was the first time that I ever touched a Fender Rhodes electric piano. We got to the studio in California - Cecil McBee had to unpack his bass, the drummer had to set up his drums, Pharoah had to unpack all of his horns. Everybody had something to do, but the piano was just sitting there waiting. I saw this instrument sitting in the corner and I asked the engineer, 'What is that?' He said, 'That's a Fender Rhodes electric piano.' I didn't have anything to do, so I started messing with it, checking some of the buttons to see what I could do with different sounds. All of a sudden I started writing a song and everybody ran over and said, 'What is that?' And I said, 'I don't know, I'm just messing around.' Pharoah said, 'Man, we gotta record that. Whatcha gonna call it?' I'd been studying astral projections and it sounded like we were floating through space so I said let's call it 'Astral Traveling.' That's how I got introduced to the electric piano.