Alice Coltrane "The Ecstatic World of" LP/CD
One of our favorite reissues of 2017!
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"Coltrane self-released the songs on cassette, producing only a few hundred copies of each for ashram members: 1982’s Turiya Sings, 1987’s Divine Songs, 1990’s Infinite Chants, and 1995’s Glorious Chants. Turiya Sings—the finest among them, with appealingly distant strings, as if Coltrane were mystically levitating above her lo-fi arrangements—marked the first time she sang on tape (because, she said, God had asked her to). Made with the humble intentions of nourishing her community, Coltrane’s ashram music was naturally lost in time.
With the Luaka Bop label’s Ecstatic Music compilation, selections from the tapes are widely available at last. These sublime ensemble recordings reflect not just the result but the process of deep enlightenment. Coltrane, performing with ashram members, illuminates Hindu devotionals with meditative Indian instrumentation, a sparkling Oberheim OB-8 synthesizer, droning Wurlitzer lines, and full-bodied singing evoking the Detroit church choirs of her youth. This was one of the greatest composers of the 20th century bringing a completely unusual confluence of experience (classical training, Baptist church playing, jazz, improv) to prayer songs worshipping Krishna and Rama. With their widened musical scope, they feel more like prayers for humanity." - Pitchfork Best New Music