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

MURRAY McNABB (1947-2013): The new man with the courage to make himself new

MURRAY McNABB (1947-2013): The new man with the courage to make himself new

The plan would have been timely: a concert acknowledging the half century he'd known and played in bands with drummer Frank Gibson. But then everything changed. “They gave me a year,... > Read more

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble: Be Known; Ancient/Future/Music (Spiritmuse Records)

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble: Be Known; Ancient/Future/Music (Spiritmuse Records)

At a time when some young jazz musicians are reaching back to the project of black American spiritual and political jazz for their platform, it's thrilling that this long-running outfit steered by... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE HALLOWEEN HORROR SERIES ON DVD: You can't keep a bad man down

THE HALLOWEEN HORROR SERIES ON DVD: You can't keep a bad man down

Let's get these killers and their thrillers matched up right: the murderous baddy in Nightmare on Elm Street was Freddy; in Friday 13th it was Jason; the guy with the buzzing blades in Texas... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . HANK GARLAND: The forgotten star of the six string

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . HANK GARLAND: The forgotten star of the six string

When guitarist Hank Garland's '59 Chev station wagon spun out on a road in Tennessee and hammered into a tree in September 1961 it left him unconscious in hospital for weeks. And although he... > Read more