A striking, beautiful listen and highly recommended to pretty much anybody with a heartbeat(!) This is a fantastic compilation of spiritual jazz and devotional music recorded by Alice Coltrane in the 80s and 90s - absolutely essential.
Who can mark with certainty the moment a true spiritual awakening occurs? While on a walk in the woods, or on the road to Damascus? After taking a red pill? From Biblical days to modern times, popular culture likes to think of the transition as the flip of a light switch: click—instant illumination. But to those who chose to devote themselves to a life of contemplation, devotion and ultimately enlightenment, it’s never simply one fateful act, a before and after. Spirituality, to the deeply devoted, is a step-by-step process, along a not necessarily logical path. And if the dedication is steady and unwavering, that path never ends.
For Alice Coltrane, spirituality was her path and her destination—and it all makes sense in the long view, as her life unfolded from her first piano lessons to her first gigs as a professional musician, to becoming a wife, a mother, a band member, a widow. A bandleader and then a recording artist. A spiritual acolyte looking to the East for guidance, and eventually, the founder and leader of a community of Vedic worship and study on a generous tract of land in Southern California.
To grasp the logic of that sequence is to appreciate the inner strength and resolve needed by an African American woman in a more conservative era, and to understand why the release of the devotional music on this collection is so welcome and overdue. These songs—created in a specific time and place with a specific purpose in mind—reveal not only the spirit of a deeply spiritual and musically fearless woman, but one who was blessed with an abiding sense of generosity and kindness. As necessary as it is to hear the albums Alice Coltrane recorded in the 1960s and ‘70s—music upon which her deserved reputation rests today—one must also sit down, listen to, and absorb the music that she created in the 1980s and ‘90s, the music that comprises a largely unwritten chapter from the life of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda.
1. Om Rama 09:39
2. Om Shanti 06:51
3. Rama Rama 07:34
4. Rama Guru 05:52
5. Hari Narayan 04:38
6. Journey to Satchidananda 10:52
7. Er Ra 04:59
8. Keshava Murahara 09:44