Alice Coltrane and the Death of a Giant

August 2, 2014

JazzSherpa

Alice Coltrane replaced McCoy Tyner in John Coltrane’s lineup in 1966. After her joining, the group’s output became even more spiritual in context and Coltrane’s personal playing kept pushing boundaries. There was an undeniable symbiotic relationship and mutual influence between John Coltrane and his wife Alice. Coltrane took on the role of teacher in the ways of his brand of music and its relationship to Eastern mysticism. Religion had become an overt part of Coltrane’s music ever since 1964’s A Love Supreme.

Cosmic Music, 1965 Cosmic Music, 1968

Coltrane’s highly-creative, cart-blanche tenure with Impulse! Records aided in his musical and religious journey, producing a varied and vast body of work in a relatively short amount of time. As Coltrane put it, he was in search of a “universal sound”. I believe it was in Alice Coltrane that he found his “musical compass”. His late-career recordings such as the posthumous Expression and Cosmic…

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