Ever heard of Alice Coltrane? You may already know she was married to jazz legend John Coltrane. Beyond her relationship with the most revered and influential saxophonist in the history of jazz, Alice Coltrane was a legendary pianist, composer and spiritual leader.
In the decades following her husband’s death, she pursued a solo career, releasing thirteen full-length records and appearing on a number of projects as a sidewoman. An artist with many lives, she explored different sonic realms reflecting her different names and ever-evolving identity – from Alice Mcleod, to Coltrane, and finally Swamini A.C. Turiyasangitananda. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, she became one of jazz’s singular visionaries before retiring from the public eye to lead a spiritual retreat and monastery, The Sai Anantam Ashram in Southern California. There, Coltrane crafted a series of bewitching and deeply spiritual albums under her new spiritual name.
In recent years, Alice Coltrane’s work has been revisited in multiple ways. From rare recordings to rave reviews, numerous tribute and even a film project by director Vincent Moon, there seems to be a collective push to shine a light on Coltrane as one of jazz’s most overlooked figures. Earlier this year, a series of ashram tapes from the 1980s and 1990s was released – the first collection ever to highlight the music she made during her time as a spiritual leader.
The collection – The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda – premiered in New York this May, performed by the Sai Anantam Ashram Singers. The mood is prayerful and contemplative, oscillating between devotional frenzy and ambient chanting, creating a complete soundscape with universal appeal.
Hot from the New-York premiere, The Sai Anantam Ashram Singers will perform this exclusive and unrepeatable concert at Supersense: Festival of The Ecstatic as part of the Super Saturday program.