Alice Coltrane, wife to the brief John Coltrane and aunt to blooming Steven Ellison, took massive strides in her undeniable talent as an artist after the death of her husband. She delved into eastern religion, exploring its beliefs and culture. Her main influence was Swami Satchidananda who arrived in the states in ’66 from India, he was spiritual master, yoga hero, etc and took Alice under his wing as one of his disciples. He became rather famous and opened the famous ’69 Woodstock in true hippy form. A year later she released the aptly named, but rather misunderstood, Journey in Satchidananda.
You’ll either hate this album or it will become an integral part of your life, this is dependant on your feelings towards fusion jazz. The tracks ooze eastern influence, with droning, atmospheric harp binding the album together. It’s incredible the amount of sounds you hear that have been regurgitated by other artists, but whether it has been a conscious decision or not is impossible to tell. This album goes hand in hand with the Flying Lotus’ album Cosmogramma in which he definitely took decision to sound like his aunt Alice, and I feel it gives a new angle on the subject.
And, of course, the album.