Alice Coltrane

Alice Coltrane was a hardworking pianist, composer, and bandleader who spent most of her life searching for spirituality in music and her private life. Alice Coltrane was raised in music. Her older brother, Ernie Farrow (bassist), played in the bands Barry Harris, Stan Getz and Terry Gibbs in the 1950s and 1960s. Alice McLeod started studying classical music when she was seven years old. She studied at Detroit’s Cass Technical High School, where she was accompanied by Hugh Lawson, pianist, and Earl Williams. She was a talented bebop piano player in local bands, including Kenny Burrell and Lateef. McLeod went to Paris to study with Bud Powell in 1959. John Coltrane was her tour guide and recorded with Gibbs in 1962-1963. She married him in 1965 and joined his band one year later. Alice was with John Coltrane’s band through his death in 1967. He recorded his albums Live At the Village Vanguard Once Again! Her playing is marked by rhythmically ambiguous arpeggios, and a pulsing texture. She formed her own bands, including Joe Henderson, Frank Lowe and Carlos Ward. She also played with Rashied Ali, Archie Shepp and Jimmy Garrison. Alice played the piano and Wurlitzer organ. Her recordings for Impulse included the acclaimed albums Monastic Trio and Journey in Satchidananda. After leaving Warner Brothers, she moved to Los Angeles, where she released Transcendence and Eternity albums, as well as her double album Transfiguration, which was recorded in 1978. Coltrane was always interested in spiritual matters and founded the Vedanta Center, an institute for Eastern spiritual studies in 1975. Jazz Alliance released her 1981 appearance on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz radio program. However, she went long without performing publicly or recording. She led a group that included Oran and her sons Ravi in 1987’s John Coltrane tribute concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City. Coltrane performed again in public in 1998, at a Town Hall Concert featuring Ravi and at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan. In 2000, she began recording again and in 2004, the Verve label released the excellent Translinear Light. Ravi produced the album, which featured Coltrane playing piano, organ and synthesizer in a variety of situations. Other collaborators included Charlie Haden and Jack DeJohnette as well as James Genus and Jeff Watts. She began to play live more often after Translinear Light was released. This included a visit to Paris in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina, as well as a short tour with Ravi in fall 2006. Coltrane passed away on January 12, 2007 from respiratory failure at Los Angeles’ West Hills Hospital u0026 Medical Center. from

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