Written By: Jordannah Elizabeth
Originally penned for Jazz Right Now
One thing I am working on these days, in my personal life and in my writing life is to not be presumptuous. Without admitting that presumption is an overwhelmingly prevalent trait in my personality and work, I believe it is not only important to listen, but to go back and check myself – to go back and check the “facts.” So, before I proclaimed that the Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda record and debut world music compilation from David Byrne’s Luaka Bop Records, Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda sounded almost completely different than her previous works, I went back and listened to the catalog of her music that was available on Spotify.
I listened to the first few minutes of each record and audibly examined 17 of her albums, including her Carlos Santana collaboration record, Illuminations. The only album that very loosely resembled this newly issued collection of works was the 1976 album, Radha-Krsna Nama Sankirtana which embodied the singing of a chorus of voices.
Upon hearing the silky voice singing on the lead single and track two from the new album, World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, “Om Shanti,” I asked myself if Alice was the voice singing. I second guessed myself, I was slightly confused, but her honey dipped, alto voice sounded like her face, her demeanor. Obviously, because of my young age, I’ve never had the pleasure to meet or see Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda perform live, but her presence, her music and style has been with me for some time, and the voice seemed to fit. Upon reading the background on the album on Luaka Bop’s website, my question was answered: this is the first collection of recordings that features Alice’s voice. Fascinating. Continue reading