Beautiful Alice Coltrane artifacts keep popping up, whether in official guise (last year’s Turiya Sings collection) or unofficial bootleg situations (the astonishing Berkeley 1972 double LP). Somewhere in between is this recently unearthed video of Coltrane performing at the Yogaville complex in Buckingham, Virginia, in the 1990s.
Coming together in an unlikely but harmonious collaboration under their recently bestowed Sanskrit names, Turiya Alice Coltrane and Devadip Carlos Santana recorded Illuminations as a reflection of their newfound spiritual awakening. Released in 1974, the album embodies a deliberate shift for both artists, who had edged closer to explicitly devotional compositions throughout the early seventies…
Culled from a 1970 documentary created for a segment of the Black Journal television program, this unearthed 16mm color film finds Alice Coltrane between the albums Huntington Ashram Monastery, and Ptah, the El Daoud.
Captured three years after the death of John Coltrane, the piece begins in media res outside the Long Island, NY home the artist shared with her late husband and children. In a floating voiceover, Coltrane reflects on matters of the spiritual and beyond, as we catch a glimpse of the family’s domestic life on the property. A scant yet powerful fifteen minutes, things soon turn to music as the film shifts to a grip of rare, live footage of Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders getting free in performance. Highly recommended.
In recent years, the smoky, mystical groove of Alice Coltrane’s “Journey In Satchidananda” has emerged as a go-to vehicle for musical travelers of varying stripes. This two-hour mix pulls together a selection of these journeys (along with some offerings from Alice herself). Hey, if you’re going to listen to a single bass line for 120 minutes, I can think of no better candidate than the god-like lope that Cecil McBee originally laid down back in 1970. No matter where these musicians go on their respective journeys, there’s a unifying questing vibe, a desire to tap into the cosmic imagination. Spend some time with them on a higher plane.
While her late husband’s 1961 modal rendering helped reinvigorate the Rodgers and Hammerstein chestnut, the orchestral presentation Alice put forth a decade later is a beast of an altogether different stripe. Kicking off Coltrane’s sixth lp, World Galaxy, the instantly recognizable melody quickly dissolves amidst a very free, swirling cacophony of sound….something like the aural equivalent of David Bowman’s star gate sequence. High praise, indeed!
This is a bootleg, make no mistake! But however you hear it, you gotta hear it (perhaps over on YouTube?). A major addition to the Alice Coltrane canon, this soundboard recording features the pioneering musician and her incredible band (Charlie Haden on bass, Ben Riley on drums, Aashish Khan on sarod, Pranesh Khan on tabla and Bobby W. on tamboura and percussion) journeying fearlessly across the astral plane. Four tracks, fours sides! Tons of AC’s intense organ hijinks – how did she get that crazy sound?
The following began as a set I compiled on CD-R for personal listening on – as the title suggests – Sundays. Over time I shared it with a few friends […]
The humidity continues to linger, so we’re choosing to sweat it out with this fierce slice of late night free jazz. “Jaya Jaya Rama,” the closing number to Alice Coltrane’s […]
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 […]
For those who followed Numero Group’s 2009 compilation Local Customs: Downriver Revival , it should come as no surprise that the reissue label’s 2012 Shirley Ann Lee release is brilliant, breathtaking and essential listening. […]
( Sevens , a recurring feature on Aquarium Drunkard, pays tribute to the art of the individual song.) It’s been noted that 1976’s “Transfiguration” is a culmination, and a sort of […]