Wednesday, 30 April 2014

alice coltrane's lost album

Alice Coltrane's music is indeed a thing of great beauty.
In the late 60's and early 70's she released her first albums in a series of seminal albums that fused the freely improvising modal playing of some of the greatest improvisers and composers of jazz there's ever been. She worked with Pharaoh Sanders, McCoy Tyner, Roy Haynes and of course had a huge influence on the music of her husband John Coltrane. (We did a post on her 1969 album Huntingdon Ashram Monastery). Along with 'Journey in Satchidananda' these recordings set a standard in transcendental music that has never been improved on. She was to continue to record her devotional music throughout her life. Alice died in 2007.
This recording is of a little known and rare 1987 release 'Divine Songs'.
The uploader 'Sir Eddie'. despite his less than transcendental handle, should be thanked for keeping this recording alive -

    "Here is an amazing cassette rip of Divine Songs. This tape is very rare and mostly consists of Alice's rich, soulful intonations and eastern-style gospel vocals over drones, choruses, and synths in a manner so achingly tasteful and spiritual and masterful and deep.."

Further, an entry in Wikipedia describes it -

    Divine Songs is an album by Swamini Turiyasangitananda, formerly known as Alice Coltrane. It is an album composed of devotional songs from the Hindu religion. The songs are accompanied by Turiya's signature playing on the Wurlitzer organ. She plays the songs on the organ, beginning with the traditional Indian mode but then improvises and stretches it until it turns back on itself musically. Her use of breaks, syncopation and harmonic invention re-image the songs into something original and nearly unclassifiable.

This is the entire 58 minutes of Divine Songs' completely immersive music and contains some of her finest themes. The string arrangements alone are breathtaking, the song tunes are without comparison.
One commenter hearing this for the first time summed the experience up -
"Whoa. I'm speechless. I stumbled upon this video not knowing much about Alice Coltrane and my day has been shaken."
Yes, Alice Coltrane's music can actually do that. It is of the spheres.