I've never read a Sonic Youth interview, but I would find it unsurprising if they named Pharoah Sanders as part of their answer to the inevitable who-were-your-influences question. The musical pattern of peace becomes chaos becomes peace again so predominant in Pharoah Sanders can be heard in Sonic Youth tunes.
As far as the album that's closest to Elevation, that's a tough question to answer. How about I put it this way: The following Pharoah Sanders albums appeal to me both as a Pharoah fan and as a Sonic Youth fan.
2. Jewels of Thought
4. Summun Bukmun Umyun (Deaf Dumb Blind)
These four, aside from being fantastic albums, have a sound similar to Elevation. Put very roughly, Thembi would kinda be your Sonic Youth "Washing Machine", Summun, a bit quieter throughout, perhaps the "Murray Street" equivalent. I'm not gonna bother trying to match the other two albums; I'm already stretching things a bit at this point. As I said, all four are really great albums, and if you like "Elevation", I can't imagine you'd be disappointed in any of them.
As far as the tags you employ to describe the different categories of music: don't worry about that. The fact is, not only are you showing a sincere interest in the music but also taking the lengths to describe what you're looking for. That makes it easier for people here to tailor their recommendations to your tastes. It's no sin to struggle to find words that inform but don't offend. Besides, even tho I enjoy listening to a cd of his from time to time, I think Garbarek sounds kinda cheesy too.