On the reissue of Coltrane's 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 '0m Supreme'), and the percussion-heavy, rumba-esque 'Los Caballos'. All the tracks feature spiritual annotation and explanation. The legendary Charlie Hayden plays bass. Remastered and packaged in a digipak. Currently out-of-print in the U.S.
Lord of Lords, released in 1972, was Alice Coltrane's final album for Impulse! It was the final part of a trilogy that began with Universal Consciousness and continued with the expansive World Galaxy. Like its immediate predecessors, the album features a 16-piece string orchestra that Coltrane arranged and conducted, fronted by a trio in which she plays piano, Wurlitzer organ, harp, and timpani with bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Ben Riley. Riley was familiar with the setting because he had been part of the sessions for World Galaxy. The first two pieces, "Andromeda's Suffering" and "Sri Rama Ohnedaruth" (titled after the spiritual name for her late husband, John Coltrane), are, in essence, classical works. There is little improvisation except on the piano underneath the wall of strings. They are scored for large tone clusters and minor-key drone effects, but also engage in creating timbral overtones.
Universal Consciousness was the fifth solo album released by Alice Coltrane in 1971 on Impulse! Records. The Allmusic review by Thom Jurek awarded the album 4½ stars saying "This is art of the highest order, conceived by a brilliant mind, poetically presented in exquisite collaboration by divinely inspired musicians and humbly offered as a gift to listeners. It is a true masterpiece".
Journey in Satchidananda is the fourth solo album by Alice Coltrane. Its title (and title track) reflects Coltrane's inspiration by Swami Satchidananda, to whom she had become close, and whose disciple she was. "Shiva-Loka", or "realm of Shiva" — the realm of the third member of the Hindu trinity, the "dissolver of creation". "Stopover Bombay" refers to a five week stay in India and Sri Lanka on which Coltrane was due to go in December 1970. "Something About John Coltrane" is based on themes by her late husband, John Coltrane. "Isis and Osiris", on which Charlie Haden replaces Cecil McBee on bass, and Vishnu Wood plays oud, indicates Coltrane's interest in Middle Eastern and North African music and culture. The presence of the tamboura, played by Tulsi, reflects Coltrane's interest in Indian music and religion.
Sometimes written off as an also-ran to her more famous husband, Alice Coltrane's work of the late '60s and early '70s shows that she was a strong composer and performer in her own right, with a unique ability to impregnate her music with spirituality and gentleness without losing its edges or depth. Ptah, The El Daoud is a truly great album, and listeners who surrender themselves to it emerge on the other side of its 46 minutes transformed. From the purifying catharsis of the first moments of the title track to the last moments of "Mantra," with its disjointed piano dance and passionate ribbons of tenor cast out into the universe, the album resonates with beauty, clarity, and emotion. Coltrane's piano solo on "Turiya and Ramakrishna" is a lush, melancholy, soothing blues, punctuated only by hushed bells and the sandy whisper of Ben Riley's drums and later exchanged for an equally emotive solo by bassist Ron Carter.
A Monastic Trio is the first solo album by Alice Coltrane. Recorded in 1968, she intended it to be a tribute to her husband, John Coltrane, who had died the year before. The Allmusic review by Thom Jurek awarded the album 4 stars stating "Musically, the works here move from the deep bluesy modal structures that Alice Coltrane so loved in John's repertoire… All of these works, with their deep Eastern tinges in the intervals juxtaposed against Western blues phrasing, are wondrously droning and emotional exercises".
Issued in 1968, more than a year after John Coltrane's death, Cosmic Music is co-credited to John and Alice Coltrane. Trane appears on only two of the four tracks here (they are also the longest): "Manifestation" and "Dr. King." They were both cut in February of 1966 at Coast Recorders in San Francisco, with the great saxophonist fronting his final quintet with Alice, Pharoah Sanders, Jimmy Garrison, Rashied Ali, and Ray Appleton adding percussion. "Manifestation" is also the first recorded instance of Sanders playing the piccolo in addition to his tenor saxophone; he takes an extended solo on the instrument. "Dr. King" was written to honor the civil rights leader during his lifetime. King's assassination occurred less than a year after the saxophonist's death.
Carlos proves to the world that he's still got his jazz chops in the right direction – even during his stardom of the mid 70s – and he's working here with a group that mixes avant players like Coltrane, Jack DeJohnnette, and Dave Holland, and funkier players like Jules Broussard and Armando Peraza. The tracks are spacey meditation jams – sometimes quite out, sometimes mellow and soulful – and titles include "Guru Sri Chinmoy Aphorism – Angel Of Air", "Angel Of Water", "Angel Of Sunlight", and "Illuminations".