ALICE COLTRANE — Translinear Light

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ALICE COLTRANE - Translinear Light cover
3.92 | 4 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2004


1. Sita Ram (6:09)
2. Walk With Me (7:47)
3. Translinear Light (9:49)
4. Jagadishwar (5:47)
5. This Train (6:05)
6. The Hymn (3:04)
7. Blue Nile (8:05)
8. Crescent (6:22)
9. Leo (9:39)
10. Triloka (5:08)
11. Satya Sai Isha (5:40)

Total Time: 73:40


Bass – Charlie Haden (tracks: 3, 5, 8, 10), James Genus (tracks: 2, 4, 7)
Drums – Jeff "Tain" Watts (tracks: 2, 4, 7)
Drums [Synth], Drums – Jack DeJohnette (tracks: 1, 3, 5, 8, 9)
Organ [Wurlitzer], Piano, Synthesizer – Alice Coltrane
Percussion, Saxophone [Soprano, Tenor] – Ravi Coltrane (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 7 to 9)
Saxophone [Alto] – Oran Coltrane (tracks: 6)
Vocals – Sai Anantam Ashram Singers, The (tracks: 11)

About this release

Verve Records – B0002191-02 (US)

Tracks 1, 3, 9 recorded April 28-29, 2000 at Ocean Way Studio, Hollywood, CA
Tracks 5, 8 recorded February 18, 2004 at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA
Tracks 2, 4, 7, 10 recorded April 27-28, 2004 at O'Henry Sound Studios, Burbank, CA
Track 6 recorded June 12, 2004 at Shivani Studios, Woodland Hills, CA
Track 11 recorded April 14, 2002 in The Vedantic Center Mandir, Agoura, CA
Tracks 1, 2, 5, 11 are traditionals

Thanks to snobb for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

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Members reviews

Sean Trane
After almost a quarter century of silence, mostly dedicated to her spiritual quest for which she built her own Vedantic ashram in California and taking her Hindu name Turiya, but diffusing her cassette-only devotional chants and psalms (recorded from 82 to 95) to a selected few followers during that time. Since her last official Alice release of Transfiguration (from 1980 on Warner Bros), she’d remained very discreet, but came back triumphantly in 04 with the present album Translinear Light, produced by her son Ravi Coltrane, also playing sax. The album was recorded over four years in five different sessions and some feature the outstanding Haden on bass and DeJohnette on drums, while others align Genus (bass) and Watts (drums). As you can see from the album cover, Alice Turiya Coltrane had fully embraced her Hindu-derivated beliefs, but it would be a stretch to see her beliefs saturating or over-powering the present album. Indeed the overall feel of the TL is relatively the same as her 70’s output and I dare say that her private-releases don’t sound anything (I’ve heard samples) like the present. What more fitting label than the glorious and ever-meriting Impulse! label to release her swansong as well.

Opening with some tamboura and her old signature Wurlitzer organ (not exactly my fave thing from her) on Sita Ram, but avoiding to play her harp (probably out of practice), Alice brings us to her old but fantastic soundscapes, not caring to really update herself or her music, and it’s just fine that way. She’s also still got all her usual thoughtful chops (but also more gentle than with her Wurlie) on the piano as can Walk With Me or the title track can attest. Her son Ravi’s tenor & soprano sax can only remind us of the missing Master Trane, but it’s a joyful reminder. And when her other son Oran comes in alone with his mom (on synths, this time) on Hymn, things get maybe a tad overly emotional. The peak is IMHO reached with the hypnotic and haunting modal Blue Nile piece rework from the Ptah album. I don’t know if Alice had guessed TL would be a swansong, but the two Trane covers the classic Crescent and chaos-inducing Leo are framing two of Trane’s more-extreme facets, but the latter’s rendition is a very personal adaptation, showing that she can still dig in her reserves for an all-out “brawl” with Jack and Ravi. Although not really my thing, Alice chose to feature her ashram’s Vedantic choir as a fitting outro to the present album (her first and only CD-release as well), and also the last official piece edited in her life.

Although this poignant album is her last, I think that the whole planet should be glad that she did come out of retirement to offer us one more album, before definitely turning her back on the industry and turn to the greener pastures of her next-world. Even if it was the last chapter she’d actually written from her story, you can look at TL as an awesome epitaph, one that most everyone could wish having done. Truly a classy lady, a superb Trane-legacy holder and a lasting influence on my musical endeavours. Well done Alice! And RIP!!

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  • darkprinceofjazz
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