Soto | Tokyo | 01/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is my favorite release by Alice. A few of her releases have been mediocre, some of them very good. This one is absolutely georgeous! As you listen, you may feel the entire spectrum of emotions it is possible to feel-from overwhelming sadness to complete bliss, everything in between-all at once.
The string arrangements soar and float up, down and around the rhythm section. The whole album from start to finish flows together like a symphony in several movements.
Lord Of Lords is utterly different from anything you may have heard from Alice, and where there are similarities to other releases, this one is the culmination and magnum opus of Alice Coltrane`s search for musical expression.
Lord Of Lords may be difficult to find in America. I am fortunate to live in Japan where it is readily available at the regular price. But if you do find this one, it is worth every penny to pay the expensive "import" price.
This is my petty review, but actually this album is very far beyond words."
Coltrane and strings.
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 11/07/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Alice Coltrane's "Lord of Lords", her last album for Impulse!, finds her expanding on the ideas of the previous album-- setting her music into an orchestral setting. Coltrane (performing on organ, piano and harp), is joined by bassist Charlie Haden, drummer Ben Riley, and a sixteen piece string orchestra. The resulting album is unique.
One thing that's common throughout is this extraordinarily heightened sense of melodrama-- the strings highlight this aspect of Coltrane's work so much that for me, the heavy handed arrangements often get in the way of the music itself. Opener "Andromeda's Suffering" and the title track are fine examples of this-- they feel big and busy. Admittedly, sometimes the album works fantastically-- the arrangement of Stravinsky's "The Firebird" is quite moving and exciting and closing blues "Going Home" has perhaps the most sensitive organ line you'll ever hear delicately supported by strings, but by and large, the album doesn't sit well with me.
Coltrane did better work in the past and would do better in the future, given the enormous price tag on this one."