While never abandoning her Christian beliefs, Alice Coltrane formally converted to Hinduism in the mid-1970s and went on to set up her own Vedantic centre in California. Around that time, she also more or less retired from public life, making only rare live appearances or releasing tapes of religious music. But it was on the insistence of her son Ravi that she made a stunning comeback in 2004 aged 67 with Translinear Light. This powerful collection of spiritual music with Alice Coltrane on the piano and Wurlitzer organ was also to be her last one since she passed away in January 2007.
Alice Coltrane was a classically trained musician on the piano and was also one of the very few musicians who integrated the harp into jazz. As a result, she transposed and adapted harp techniques to her piano playing and went on to develop a unique flowing and undulating style much in evidence in the introduction to “Walk with me”. The track is actually based on the traditional spiritual I want Jesus to walk with me and goes back to Alice Coltrane’s childhood roots of playing music in churches.
Translinear Light stands as yet another profound expression in Alice Coltrane’s extraordinary career. It all unfolds gracefully, evocatively, zenfully…like a prayer. Bill Milkowski – “Translinear Light” liner notes.
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