Alice Coltrane was a jazz innovator who made a life of self-reinvention. She was a pianist before meeting husband and collaborator John Coltrane, to whom she was married for only four years before his death in 1967. Bereavement led her to Indian spirituality and she became a devout practitioner of Vedanta, changed her name to Turiyasangitananda, and started an ashram in California. By then she had recorded more than a dozen records and was acclaimed for her work as a musician, composer, and bandleader.
The sublime musical and spiritual legacy of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda lives on in this special one-night engagement led by Surya Botofasina, who grew up on the Ashram, and the Sai Anantam Ashram Singers. The evening features Turiyasangitananda’s songs of devotion, or bhajans, lost ashram recordings recorded between 1982 and 1995. Released by Luaka Bop last year under the name The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, the music combines Indian chants and mantras, clapping, and gospel, with Alice’s own inventive jazz harmonics, resulting in a meditative, unified sound.