Alice Coltrane: A Monastic Trio (Impulse)

 |   |  <1 min read

Alice Coltrane: Gospel Trane
Alice Coltrane: A Monastic Trio (Impulse)

An excellent and intelligent reissue of late-60s recordings by the much underrated pianist/harpist widow of jazz sax legend John Coltrane which includes tracks from two albums, Cosmic Music and A Monastic Trio, and resequences them to shift from quartet to piano trio to harp trio. And it goes out on a previously unissued solo piano piece she recorded during the sessions for John's Expression album.

In jazz consciousness Alice has always been overshadowed by her husband (hardly surprising, genius like his doesn't grace this planet often) and also the period of her best work - full of all that cosmic, universal-consciousness, Indian-mystic stuff with gurus - seems just so passe to hipper-than-thou folks today.

However, should anyone doubt her credentials, the presence of Ben Riley and Rashied Ali (drums), bassist Jimmy Garrison and Pharaoh Sanders on tenor, flute and bass clarinet, should silence any critic.

This delicious, evocative and sometimes sublime music not only transcends its period but often sounds more contemporary than most of what's out there today.

Point off for this reissue not dropping the 1968 interview with Alice which, needless to say, talks all about John, then dead but one year.

Dead John may have been reaching into the beyond, but as Amiri Baraka said in the original liner notes, Alice's piano "broods in its earth imagination."

A rediscovery.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Mulatu Astatke and the Heliocentrics: Inspiration Information (Strut/Border)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Mulatu Astatke and the Heliocentrics: Inspiration Information (Strut/Border)

A couple of years ago a very generous Elsewhere subscriber sent me some albums in the Ethiopiques series, music of all persuasions from Ethiopia (mostly club singers and jazz on the ones I... > Read more

The New Fuse Box: The Wakem/Nielson Project (LGW)

The New Fuse Box: The Wakem/Nielson Project (LGW)

A little clarifying chronology here might be useful when teasing out the threads of this Auckland jazz group. As I recall their debut album The Politiks of Jazz (just credited to Fuse Box)... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

HERBS, NEW ZEALAND'S POLITICISED REGGAE REVOLUTION INTO THE HALL OF FAME (2012): Hard tings an' times

HERBS, NEW ZEALAND'S POLITICISED REGGAE REVOLUTION INTO THE HALL OF FAME (2012): Hard tings an' times

When Herbs emerged at the start of the 1980s they were a very different band from the avuncular, mainstream entertainers they became. The original five-piece was managed by the former president... > Read more

GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER JULIAN REID on the streets of weirdly normal Athens

GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER JULIAN REID on the streets of weirdly normal Athens

Julian Reid is a musician, graphic designer and photographer who has lived in London for over 10 years. This week he went to Athens on business. He reports that "it is a weird... > Read more