Joe Henderson & Alice Coltrane :: The Elements / World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda

The new reissue label Jazz Dispensary did us all a favor this year by bringing, The Elements, Joe Henderson and Alice Coltrane's lone collaboration, back to the marketplace, rescuing it from wild Discogs prices (even CD reissues are out of control). The album, originally released in 1974, can sit comfortably alongside such contemporaneous classics as Don Cherry's Brown Rice or Pharoah Sanders' Love in Us All. Like those efforts, The Elements draws from a heady brew of non-jazz influences from India and Latin America (not to mention hints of dub, funk and soul), resulting in a well-nigh unclassifiable blend. But it's a blend that always bewitches, whether it's the appropriately passionate opener "Fire," which pits Henderson's rich tenor sax against Coltrane's cascading harp, or the mystical vibes that fuel "Earth," with legendary bassist Charlie Haden and drummer  Leon "Ndugu" Chancler  laying down an immovable groove for Henderson, Coltrane and violinist Michael White to float freely over.

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