Lord of Lords was Alice Coltrane’s final proper album for Impulse!, and the final part of the awe-inspiring trilogy that also includes Universal Consciousness and World Galaxy. While Coltrane’s records are renowned for their lush and eclectic instrumentation, Lord of Lords stands apart from the others due to scale of the orchestra appearing on the recording, with Coltrane herself conducting its 12 violins, 6 violas, and 6 cellos. This album is a precursor to the spiritual path that would define her life both personal and professional, in addition to a radical inversion of the already established avant-garde and spiritual jazz traditions. “Andromeda’s Suffering” is pounded piano atmospherics among dazzling strings, the tension rising to higher and higher peaks. “Sri Rama Ohnedaruth” is shimmering harp closing in a howl of harrowing percussion and strings. “Lord of Lords” begin with a huge brass crash introducing an endless array of percussion, showcasing the sublime rhythm section of Charlie Haden and Ben Riley. “Going Home” is minimalist in relative to the rest of the disc, with harp up-front, backed by a meandering electric organ. The music is cosmic in scope, but maintains a heady immediacy and personal touch that have endeared it to listeners across the decades. This first ever vinyl reissue arrives in a tip-on gatefold sleeve that features detailed liner notes by Coltrane herself, in addition to a detailed personel list. Recommended.
- black vinyl pressing
- tip-on style gatefold sleeve with detailed liner notes
- first ever vinyl reissue
- original release year: 1972
- music label: Superior Viadict 2019
reviewed by VILLAGE VANGUARD 2/2020