While the musical benefits Pharoah Sanders enjoyed as the direct result of his association with John Coltrane are indisputable (not to mention the instant high profile he received), it was hardly the beginning of the story. The four-disc The Pharoah Sanders Story: In the Beginning 1963-1964 may not be, either, but until we get earlier material, this fills out the saxophonist's portrait considerably. Compiled by Sun Ra Archive boss Michael D. Anderson for ESP-Disk, this first CD features two previously unreleased sessions with the Don Cherry Quintet and the Paul Bley Quartet in 1963 and 1964. Along with the music, there are separate archival interviews with all three men. Disc two compiles Sanders' first date as a leader for ESP (an unexceptional band mars the album, keeping it from what it could have been; Sanders' playing is fantastic), as well as a couple of interviews. The third and fourth CDs compile for the first time Sanders' historic performance with the Sun Ra Arkestra at New York City's Judson Hall in 1965, as well as interviews with Ra as well as Sanders. The Arkestra date is compelling for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that Sanders was asked to fill in for John Gilmore; other players on this unique date included flutist Black Harold (Harold Murray) and bassist Alan Silva. Some of this music was originally released as Sun Ra: With Pharoah Sanders and Black Harold in 1976, but this set includes the previously unissued, first known recording of "The Shadow World." While this collection will certainly appeal to Sanders completists, fans of Cherry, Bley, and Ra also have reason to celebrate too. More even than these listeners, The Pharoah Sanders Story: In the Beginning 1963-1964 is one of those dream-come-true releases for avant-jazz archivists.