|The Ecstatic Music Of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda is out May 5 on Luaka Bop.|
This largely unheard body of work finds Alice singing for the first time in her recorded catalog, which dates back to 1963 and includes appearances on six John Coltrane albums, alongside Charlie Haden and McCoy Tyner, and 14 albums as bandleader starting with her Impulse! debut in 1967 with A Monastic Trio. The songs featured on the Luaka Bop release have been culled from the four cassettes that Alice recorded and released between 1982 and 1995: ‘Turiya Sings,’ ‘Divine Songs,’ ‘Infinite Chants,’ and ‘Glorious Chants.’ The digital, cassette and CD release will feature eight songs. The double-vinyl edition features two additional tracks, “Krishna Japaye” from 1990’s ‘Infinite Chants, and the previously unreleased “Rama Katha” from a separate Turiya Sings recording session. You can hear the entire Turiya Sings album at the end of this post.
Luaka Bop teamed with Alice’s children to find the original master tapes in the Coltrane archive. The recordings were prepared for re-mastering by the legendary engineer Baker Bigsby (Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra, John Coltrane), who had overseen the original sessions in the 80s and 90s. The compilation showcases a diverse array of recordings in addition to Alice’s first vocal work: solo performances on her harp, small ensembles, and a 24-piece vocal choir. The release is dotted with eastern percussion, synthesizers, organs and strings, making for a mesmerizing, even otherworldly, listen. Alice was inspired by Vedic devotional songs from India and Nepal, adding her own music sensibility to the mix with original melodies and sophisticated song structures. She never lost her ability to draw from the bebop, blues and old-time spirituals of her Detroit youth, fusing a Western upbringing with Eastern classicism. In all, these recordings amount to a largely untold chapter in the life story of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda.
In addition to the recordings, GRAMMY-winning music historian Ashley Kahn has written extensive liner notes on the collection. The package also includes a series of interviews with those who knew Alice best, conducted by Dublab’s Mark “Frosty” McNeill, and an as-told-to interview between musician Surya Botofasina (who was raised on Alice’s ashram) and journalist Andy Beta. Here's the tracklisting.
The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda
1. Om Rama – 9:39
2. Om Shanti – 6:52
3. Rama Rama – 7:35
4. Rama Guru – 5:52
5. Hari Narayan – 4:38
6. Journey in Satchidananda – 10:53
7. Er Ra – 5:00
8. Keshava Murahara – 9:43
9. Krishna Japaye* – 5:31
10. Rama Katha* – 11:40