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Released in 1976, Eternity was Alice Coltrane’s first album for Warner Bros. after eight wondrous records on Impulse! Combining the drones and textures of India, the gospel and R&B of her Detroit youth and the dissonance of modern classical composition, Coltrane’s music in the ‘70s would become increasingly difficult to categorize. Having moved a few years earlier to California (where she founded the Vedantic Center, an Ashram for spiritual studies), Coltrane stretches out on Eternity—incorporating various musical styles, including a stirring adaptation of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring—and the results are dazzling, both in sonic scope and emotional range Opener “Spiritual Eternal” sways between Alice’s exploratory organ and the dramatic swell of lush strings. A meditative solo piece for harp, “Wisdom Eye,” precedes the rollicking rhythms of “Los Caballos,” which showcases some of her finest soloing. “Om Supreme” is the album’s first track to be built around bhajans (Hindu devotional songs). Featuring graceful keyboards backed by an angelic choir, this piece hints at the ecstatic devotional music that she would later make with members of her Ashram. While Coltrane would delve deeper into her spiritual journeys and continue to expand her musical interests on subsequent LPs, Eternity remains a vivid and compelling display of her unique vision, myriad talents and passions.

LP $22.00

05/10/2019 857661008162 


Radha-Krsna Nama Sankirtana by Coltrane, Alice

Coltrane, Alice

Radha-Krsna Nama Sankirtana
Antarctica Starts Here

Radha-Krsna Nama Sankirtana was the first of two albums Alice Coltrane released in 1977 (the other being Transcendence). Coltrane’s music during this period grew out of an epiphany in which she would renounce secular life and don the orange robes of a swamini (spiritual teacher in the Hindu tradition). Musically, this meant leaving jazz behind (at least partially) and embracing the chants and rhythms of devotional music. The first half of Radha-Krsna is mostly filled with simple arrangements of bhajans (Hindu devotional songs) and features the singing of students from the Vedantic Center, the Ashram that Coltrane founded in 1975. The group bounces with the joy of a gospel choir (not coincidentally, some had backgrounds in Southern Baptist churches). A rapturous aura permeates opener “Govinda Jai Jai” with Alice leading on Fender Rhodes. On “Prema Muditha,” she returns to acoustic piano (her main instrument in the early part of her career) to deliver a powerful and poignant theme. Sidelong “Om Namah Sivaya” beams with probing organ improvisations accompanied by the drumming of her 13-year-old son Aruna John Coltrane, Jr. This closing track offers a strong indication that even if Alice Coltrane was turning toward new traditions for inspiration, her music was still something that only she could make.

LP $22.00

05/10/2019 857661008179 


Transcendence was not only Alice Coltrane’s last studio album for Warner Bros., it would also be her last studio work for nearly three decades. While Eternity and Radha-Krsna Nama Sankirtana followed the composer’s muse through an exciting range of musical styles and influences, Transcendence is perhaps the most fully realized of the three LPs, synthesizing the best elements of each into a monumental whole. Side one consists of intimate compositions with Alice’s pointillist harp enhanced by intricate string arrangements. At times, the emotional climaxes in “Radhe Shyam” and the title track sound like the score to an epic film. This would be the closest Coltrane ever came to chamber music, yet rendered with her uniquely spiritual tint. Side two moves into celestial territory with uplifting chants, light handclaps and bluesy organ. These call-and-response chants, featuring members from her Ashram, completely embody both African-American gospel and Hindu devotional traditions, an uncanny fusion that is transformed through Alice’s pure spirit. What runs through the album’s two musical halves is a powerful sense of devotion and discovery. At this point in her life, Coltrane was on a journey toward truth through sound, and Transcendence gives the listener a front row seat to this quest.

LP $22.00

05/10/2019 857661008186 


By the late ’70s, Alice Coltrane had largely gravitated away from jazz, incorporating Hindu chants and hymns into her music to reflect a newfound sense of creative omnipotence. However, in April 1978, she would return to her roots, performing at University of California, Los Angeles to make her first and only live album. Transfiguration, featuring drummer Roy Haynes and bassist Reggie Workman, showcases Alice’s many compositional talents and fierce improvisatory abilities. Throughout this double LP set, her playing evokes the time spent in her late husband John Coltrane’s band and the avant-garde music of her earlier years. As biographer Franya J. Berkman writes, “Her up-tempo keyboard work here is the most exciting of her commercial career. With its rapid-fire transpositions of short figures; its long modal passages, rhythmic play, and timbral inventiveness; its sustained energy and burning pace; and the unrelenting support of Haynes and Workman, she takes leave of the jazz business with a truly breathtaking swan song.” Alice Coltrane would not revisit jazz on record for another 26 years, turning instead to spiritual music made with students at her Vedantic Center and self-releasing a series of cassettes under her Sanskrit name, Turiyasangitananda. It is hard to imagine a better farewell than the intense and spellbinding Transfiguration.

2XLP $27.00

05/10/2019 857661008193 


Originally released in 1972, Lord Of Lords was Alice Coltrane’s final album for Impulse! and the last installment in her awe-inspiring trilogy that also included Universal Consciousness and World Galaxy. While all three records featured strings alongside a jazz ensemble, Lords Of Lords stood apart from its predecessors due to the sheer size of the orchestra (12 violins, 6 violas and 7 cellos, arranged and conducted by Coltrane herself) and its refined, blissful performances—shining a vital light on the devotional path that she would follow for the rest of her career. On the first two pieces, “Andromeda’s Suffering” and “Sri Rama Ohnedaruth” (titled after the spiritual name for her late husband), Alice’s dazzling piano and harp blend perfectly with the blanket of strings, while the haunting rhythm section of Charlie Haden and Ben Riley and a magnificent, droning electric organ emerge immaculately on the title track and closer “Going Home.” Coltrane’s musical vision is bold in its imagination and cosmic in scope, yet remains intensely personal and immediate. Lord Of Lords points inward as much as to the beyond, recalling her classical roots and recasting Eastern modes to radically invert the American avant-garde and spiritual jazz traditions. This first-time vinyl reissue has been carefully remastered from the original master tapes.

LP $22.00

08/03/2018 855985006505 

SV 150 

Universal Consciousness by Coltrane, Alice

Coltrane, Alice

Universal Consciousness
Superior Viaduct

Originally released on Impulse! in 1971, Universal Consciousness is a major turning point in Alice Coltrane’s momentous career. While her previous albums pushed the limits of spiritual free-jazz and featured much of her late husband’s band, Universal Consciousness expands the harpist / pianist’s compositional palette with organ and strings (working with Ornette Coleman). “Oh Allah” is the finest example of Coltrane’s new direction: tense violins dissolve into sublime organ solos and exquisite brushwork from long-time Miles Davis collaborator Jack DeJohnette. While the title track undulates with a fierce clamor, “Hare Krishna” showcases Coltrane’s uncanny ability for transcendent and slow-paced arrangements.  In The Wire’s “100 Records That Set the World on Fire,” David Toop writes, “[Universal Consciousness] clearly connects to other dyspeptic jazz traditions—the organ trio, the soloists with strings—yet volleys them into outer space, ancient Egypt, the Ganges, the great beyond. The production is astounding, the quality of improvisation is riveting, the string arrangements are apocalyptic rather than saccharine, the balance of turbulence and calm a genuine dialectic that later mystic / exotic post-jazz copped out of pursuing. Her lack of constraint was dimly regarded by adherents of ’70s jazz and its masculine orthodoxies, yet Alice deserved better credit for virtuosity, originality, and the sheer will power needed to realize her vision.” This first-time vinyl reissue has been carefully remastered from the original master tapes.

LP $22.00

07/10/2015 857176003706 

SV 070 

***BACK IN STOCK!!!  Born Alice McLeod into a musical Detroit family, Alice Coltrane began playing piano at age seven and later studied with Bud Powell in Paris. Upon returning to the States, she joined vibraphonist Terry Gibbs’s group and eventually shared a bill with the John Coltrane Quartet. In 1965, the two wed in Juárez, Mexico, and played alongside one another until her husband’s last performance in May, 1967.  A Monastic Trio, created in the year following her husband’s passing, is Coltrane’s first recording as a band leader and features six original compositions. While John’s spirit can be felt throughout—from the song titles (“Ohnedaruth” was his adopted Hindu name) to the personnel (Jimmy Garrison, Rashied Ali, and Pharoah Sanders were frequent collaborators)—the album showcases Alice’s immense talent for fusing spiritual free jazz and new age with classical, Eastern, post-bop and gospel. As the late Amiri Baraka writes, “‘I Want to See You’ is a monastic piano concerto. With echoes of Europe..., it has a solemnity and majesty to it.... Yes, monastic is the word. The piano broods in its earth imagination.”

LP $22.00

06/10/2014 857176003201 

SV 020 

***As jazz tried to crossover to pop during the mid-'70s—sometimes succeeding, sometimes sounding death knells for jazz careers—ALICE COLTRANE headed in a different direction, although where is still a subject of debate. On the reissue of her wildly eclectic Eternity, which originally brought her from Impulse! to Warner Bros in 1975, two tunes are lush horn-and-string-orchestra settings; two are meditative, Eastern-sounding pieces; the album is rounded off by her first use of vocals (on "Om Supreme"), and the percussion-heavy, rumba-esque "Los Caballos." As is customary all the tracks feature spiritual annotation and explanation. The legendary Charlie Hayden plays bass.  

CD $12.00

05/07/2002 655036000526 


***Transcendence is ALICE COLTRANE's most successful vocal album. Side two is especially mind-twisting for its use of surprisingly funky Hindu chants accompanied by Alice's organ and the Indian percussion of the singers. Purists might balk at calling Hare Krishna filtered through a gospel sensibility "jazz," but they're too busy arguing about Ken Burns' documentary to worry about Alice Coltrane reissues anyway. This is probably the most "swinging" Alice Coltrane material since Ptah The El Daoud.  Music runs in Alice Coltrane's family; her older brother, bassist Ernie Farrow, played in the '50s and '60s bands of Barry Harris, Stan Getz, Terry Gibbs and, most notably, Yusef Lateef. Alice McLeod began studying classical music at the age of seven. She attended Detroit's Cass Technical High School with pianist Hugh Lawson and drummer Earl Williams. As a young woman she played in church, and in Lateef's and Kenny Burrell's bands, eventually traveling to Paris in 1959 to study with Bud Powell. She met John Coltrane while touring and recording with Gibbs in the early '60s, married the saxophonist in 1965, and joined his band - replacing McCoy Tyner - a year later. She stayed with John's band until his death in 1967, and subsequently formed her own bands with players such as Pharoah Sanders, Joe Henderson, Frank Lowe, Carlos Ward, Rashied Ali and Jimmy Garrison. Coltrane moved to California in 1972. She became increasingly concerned with spiritual matters, founding a center for the study of Eastern religions in 1975. Following the recently...

CD $12.00

05/07/2002 655036000625 


***A first-time-on-CD reissue of the incredible final official album from one of jazz's most spiritual composers ALICE COLTRANE. Originally released by Warner Bros. in 1978 as a double-LP, Transfiguration is a performance recorded live at UCLA, April 16th the same year. A deeply spiritual, but definitely jazz performance that hearkens back to her earliest work, featuring Coltane on piano and organ, REGGIE WORKMAN on bass and ROY HAYNES on drums. Includes several of her own compositions as well as her late husband JOHN COLTRANE's "Leo," and the tune "Prema" which features an overdubbed string section comprised of NOEL POINTER, MURRAY ADLER, SHERWYN HIRBOD, MICHELLE SITA COLTRANE, and JAY ROSEN (violins), PAMELA GOLDSMITH and JANICE FORD (violas), and RAY KELLY and CHRISTINA KING (cellos).

2XCD $13.00

02/05/2002 655036000120