Three great albums from Alice Coltrane
– all late 70s albums for Warner Brothers that really show her taking off as both a solo performer and a spiritual force! First up is Eternity – seminal 70s work from one of the most righteous jazz musicians ever! On this set, Alice Coltrane
moves past the rawer spiritual sound of her Impulse albums – working with a more focused vision and an approach to jazz that takes her way past the identity of just being "Mrs Coltrane
", into territory that's a more perfect expression of her spiritual vision. The approach calls for more ambitious orchestrations, yet never in a way that overwhelms the jazz basis of the music – and Alice
herself is on Fender Rhodes, organ, and harp – working with players who include Fred Jackson and Hubert Laws on reeds, Oscar Brashear on trumpet, George Bohannon on trombone, Charlie Haden on bass, Ben Riley on drums, and Armando Peraza on congas. Titles include "Spiritual Eternal", "Om Supreme", "Morning Workshop", "Wisdom Eye", and "Los Caballos". Radha Krsna Nama Saknirtana is pure spiritual loveliness from Alice
, and a record that features a lot of additional playing by Indian musicians! Clearly, the Hari Krishnas have gotten to the lady here – as you can tell by the orange robe she's wearing on the cover, and the blank stare in her eyes – but that doesn't stop the album from being a nice one, filled with the soaring spiritualism of her best 70s work, and infused with a cross-cultural approach to jazz that makes for a wonderfully expansive sound. Tracks include "Om Namah Sivaya", "Hare Krishna", and "Govinda Jai Jai". Transcendence is a beautiful record from Alice Coltrane
– a swirling mix of spiritual jazz and themes from Indian music! Alice
plays organ, Fender Rhodes, and harp – building the sound as the album progresses, from simple airy strings to an earthier groove that features vocal refrains in unison with the keyboards, chanting away, over and over, stretching to the heavens in a cosmic groove! The record features a lot of variations on traditional Indian themes – including "Sivaya", "Ghana Nila", and "Bhaja Govindam" – plus the original tracks "Transcendence" and "Vrindavana Sanchara".