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Astral Meditations the Music..
Alice Coltrane
Astral Meditations the Music..
Genre: Jazz
 
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

UK 'Best Of' for the avant-garde jazz artist, featuring 11 remastered tracks, including, 'Blue Nile', 'A Love Supreme (John Coltrane)' and 'The Sun'. 1999 release. Digipak.

     
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CD Details

All Artists: Alice Coltrane
Title: Astral Meditations the Music..
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Impulse
Release Date: 3/13/2001
Album Type: Import
Genre: Jazz
Styles: Avant Garde & Free Jazz, Modern Postbebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 0011105124225, 011105124225, 766487001120

Synopsis

Album Description
UK 'Best Of' for the avant-garde jazz artist, featuring 11 remastered tracks, including, 'Blue Nile', 'A Love Supreme (John Coltrane)' and 'The Sun'. 1999 release. Digipak.
 

CD Reviews

For those that haven't bought an Alice Coltrane album....
fetish_2000 | U.K. | 05/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Alice Coltrane - "The Music of Alice Coltrane: Astral Meditations": Although forever likely to be as well known for being the wife of "John Coltrane", as for her music. She (bafflingly) remains distinctly undervalued for her contributions to Jazz. Her sound is one that takes elements of Modal Music, Avant-Garde, World Music and Free Jazz, and then layers the sound with atmospheric, Elegant, minimal organic flourishes, that focused as much on her spirituality as on her playing. But she is a considerable performer in her own right, playing not only the Piano & Organ, but more specifically the harp, with a such a level of commitment and complexity, to she truly deserved to be taken on her own rights, rather than the link with her husband.

This 1999 release is a broad selection of Alice's passionate and contemplative music, that offers a truly fantastic introduction to her most popular body of work, with several compositions of John Coltrane's, that have been performed impeccably. Her music takes on an hypnotically literate form of expressionistic sound (as a rough approximation, think 'World music' structure, with Jazz percussion & rhythm), From the gorgeous harp-laded subtle tones of "Lovely Sky Boat" with its fluidly rolling drumming, and an undeniable deep Eastern tinged groove, that slowly worms it way into the listeners consciousness, with a simplicity, that allows Alice's playing of her harp, and the accompaniment of her quartet to truly shine through and remain stunningly beautiful.

With a band arrangement that is largely influenced by Eastern spiritual tones, its all the more remarkable of tracks such as "Galazy in Turiya" & "Blue Nile", seem as accessible, because contained here is a level of playing that is almost of filmic soundtrack level of performance. Alice creates a sound that is so awash with colour and dynamic atmospherically textured sound, that almost takes on an life of its own, as rhythm sections resonate wonderfully and the sweeping majestic sounds of 'Harp, flute & organ' all combine and nestle in perfectly with each other, it its hard to imagine anything sounding so sensual and organic. Creating a rich textured harpistry, that not only remains intertwining and invigorating, but manages to sound so completely unconcerned with musical (in this case Jazz) trends, and yet feels like it'll never sound dated or irrelevant....majestic in the broadest sense, it takes mood and arrangement of mythological sounds and constructs something with an overwhelming and mesmerisingly beautiful tone.

If the argument the "Music Can truly be spiritual", then one of the biggest arguments for this case has to be Alice's rendition of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme".....the theme here, is obviously love, but not only love in the emotional sense, but love as a much broader and more affecting element of our lives. To the non-believers, this will sound like a page from a 60's hippy diary, and maybe to some extent it is. But if you are willing to enter this with a completely open mind and no preconceptions, I defy anyone to not be truly moved by this breathtaking piece of music. In some parts it feels like a deeply personal show of affection for the memory of John Coltrane. deep spirituality, and intense and pained at times, this is music for the head and the heart...(with the central idea of progression leading to an understanding of spirituality through meditation), it is arguably one of the most important jazz tracks ever devised because it is, a playing of simple yet searching, reflective and complex compostion that leads (ultimately) to enlightenment. Its the sheer gorgeousness & ingenious symmetrical relationship, tonally, texturally and emotionally, that makes this such a truly stunning experience. in fact I'd even go so far as to say that this has the potential to transcend jazz, and (almost) be likened to a harmonic form of expression, that negates the use of words, and instead focuses purely on audible sound. And the rendition contained on this album, is worthy of being mentioned in the same lofty accolades heaped upon John Coltrane's original version.

It would take a highly cynical person to dismiss the benefits of this compilation. It is effortlessly sequenced and arranged, and manages to include her best known work. And aptly shows the development of Alice as a highly talented and criminally undervalued musician. I myself admit, that I'd never really considered buying her music, until a friend...impressed upon me/highly recommended her. Criticisms???......a mere 11 tracks feels a little mean, surely a couple more tracks could have been added. And the fact the true fans may bemoan the fact that certain essential tracks didn't make the cut, is a (reasonably) valid argument. But the rest of us, can marvel at the fact that music like this, is largely accessible to us all, and in my case in particular....kick started a buying frenzy, of her back catalogue."