Hotly sought after missing link in the Alice Coltrane catalog. The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda is the inaugural entry in Luaka Bop’s new World Spirituality Classics series. Coltrane’s interest in spiritual life grew exponentially after the untimely passing of her husband John Coltrane in 1967. Her work grew increasingly less secular as she sought the guidance from spiritual gurus and eventually moved to California to establish a Hindu center in the 70s. In the early 80s, she established the 48 acre Sai Anantam Ashram and withdrew from secular life almost entirely. This seclusion allowed her to continue to experiment with various musical disciplines with other spiritual-minded musicians, drawing influences from world music, electronic music, and of course jazz. The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda compiles the recordings she privately distributed to members of the Ashram on cassette, presented here on vinyl for the first time. Traditional Indian music and devotional chants are blanketed with lush analog synthesizer pads. At the apex is an unheard arrangement of “Journey to Satchidananda”; positioning gorgeous chants atop a heavy wash of synth that stretches towards eleven minutes. Fans of Coltrane’s sublime harp playing should feast their ears on “Er Ra”. This double vinyl pressing features two additional tracks not included on the CD and digital versions; lovingly collected into a deluxe gatefold package by Luaka Bop with essays, photos, lyric sheet, download code and an exclusive interview with Surya Botosafina conducted by Pitchfork’s Andy Beta.
- double vinyl pressing
- gatefold sleeve
- extensive liner notes, photos & essays
- lyric sheet
- digital download included
- music label: Luaka Bop 2017
reviewed by nick nightingale 05/2017