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Personnel includes: Alice Coltrane (vocals, organ).
Though she was an influential presence in her husband John's late-'60s augmented second quartet, pianist/harpist Alice Coltrane loomed largely in the shadow of the legendary jazz figure for much of her career. Nevertheless, Coltrane's signature swirling arpeggios and bluesy phrasing, proved more than a seamless fit for the quartet's later avant-garde phase, her eastern-tinged sonorities matching the music's--and John's--symbolic quest for the spiritually transcendent. TRANSCENDENCE (1977) is Coltrane's final album before a nearly three-decade-long hiatus from music that ended in 2004.
Indicative of her study of, and growing preoccupation with, Vedic themes, the album is splashed with textures from traditional Indian instrumentation, as well as Coltrane's expansive articulations on organ and harp. What is most striking, though, is her ability to fuse Western forms with Eastern spiritual traditions and maintain a reciprocal respect and reverence of both. From the sublime harp-plus-string quartet opener, "Radhe-Shayam," to the bluesy Gospel organ vamps of "Ghana Nila," TRANSCENDENCE is an otherworldly meeting of East and West rooted in a deeply committed belief in the richness of spiritual experience.

  • Format: Vinyl
  • Genre: Jazz