Alice Coltrane in 2006
(Photo: Filipe Ferreira)
|Birth name||Alice McLeod|
August 27, 1937|
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Died||January 12, 2007
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Genres||Jazz, avant-garde jazz|
|Occupations||Bandleader, composer, sideman|
|Instruments||Piano, organ, harp|
Warner Bros. Records
|Associated acts||John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders|
Alice Coltrane, née McLeod (August 27, 1937 – January 12, 2007) was an American jazz pianist, organist, harpist, and composer, and the second wife of jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane. One of the few harpists in the history of jazz, she recorded many albums as a bandleader. Her essential recordings were made in the late 1960s and early 1970s for Impulse! Records.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Alice McLeod studied classical music, and also jazz with Bud Powell in Paris, France, where she worked as the intermission pianist at the Blue Note Jazz Club in 1960. It was there that she was broadcast on French television in a performance with Lucky Thompson, Pierre Michelot and Kenny Clarke. She began playing jazz as a professional in Detroit, with her own trio and as a duo with vibist Terry Pollard. She married Kenny Hagood in 1960 and had a daughter, Michele, with him. From 1962-63 she played with Terry Gibbs's quartet, during which time she met John Coltrane. In 1965 they were married in Juárez, Mexico. John Coltrane became stepfather to Alice's daughter Michele and the couple had three children: John Jr. (1964–1982), a drummer; Oranyan (b. 1967), a DJ; and Ravi (b. 1965), a saxophonist.
In January 1966 she replaced McCoy Tyner as pianist with John Coltrane's group. She subsequently recorded with him and continued playing with the band until his death on July 17, 1967. After her husband's death she continued to play with her own groups, later including her children, moving into progressively more meditative music.
Coltrane was a devotee of the Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba. In 1972, she moved to California, where she established the Vedantic Center in 1975. By the late 1970s she had changed her name to Turiyasangitananda. Coltrane was the spiritual director, or swamini, of Shanti Anantam Ashram (later renamed Sai Anantam Ashram in Chumash Pradesh) which the Vedantic Center established in 1983 near Malibu, California. On rare occasions, she continued to perform publicly under the name Alice Coltrane.
The 1990s saw renewed interest in her work, which led to the release of the compilation Astral Meditations, and in 2004 she released her comeback album Translinear Light. Following a 25-year break from major public performances, she returned to the stage for three U.S. appearances in the fall of 2006, culminating on November 4 with a concert for the San Francisco Jazz Festival with her son Ravi, drummer Roy Haynes, and bassist Charlie Haden.
Alice Coltrane died of respiratory failure at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center in suburban Los Angeles, aged 69. She is buried alongside her late husband John Coltrane in Pinelawn Memorial Park, Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York.
Paul Weller dedicated his song "Song For Alice (Dedicated to the Beautiful Legacy of Mrs. Coltrane)", from his album 22 Dreams, to Coltrane; the track entitled "Alice" on Sunn O)))'s 2009 album Monoliths & Dimensions was similarly inspired. Electronic musician Flying Lotus is the grand-nephew of Alice Coltrane. The song "That Alice" on Laura Veirs' album Warp and Weft is about Coltrane.
- A Monastic Trio (Impulse!, 1967)
- Cosmic Music (Impulse!, 1966–68) with John Coltrane
- Huntington Ashram Monastery (Impulse!, 1969)
- Ptah, the El Daoud (Impulse!, 1970)
- Journey in Satchidananda (Impulse!, 1970)
- Universal Consciousness (Impulse!, 1971)
- World Galaxy (Impulse!, 1972)
- Lord of Lords (Impulse!, 1973)
- Reflection on Creation and Space (a Five Year View) (Impulse!, 1973; compilation)
- Illuminations (Impulse!, 1974) with Carlos Santana
- Eternity (Warner Bros. Records, 1975)
- Radha-Krsna Nama Sankirtana (Warner Bros. Records, 1976)
- Transcendence (Warner Bros. Records, 1977)
- Transfiguration (Warner Bros. Records, 1978)
- Turiya Sings (Avatar Book Institute, 1982)
- Divine Songs (Avatar Book Institute, 1987)
- Infinite Chants (Avatar Book Institute, 1990)
- Glorious Chants (Avatar Book Institute, 1995)
- Priceless Jazz Collection (GRP, 1998; compilation)
- Astral Meditations (Impulse!, 1999; compilation)
- Translinear Light (Impulse!, 2004)
- The Impulse Story (Impulse!, 2006; compilation)
With John Coltrane
- Live at the Village Vanguard Again! (Impulse!, 1966)
- Live in Japan (Impulse!, 1966; released 1973)
- Stellar Regions (Impulse!, 1967; released 1995)
- Expression (Impulse!, 1967)
- The Olatunji Concert: The Last Live Recording (Impulse!, 1967; released 2001)
- Infinity (Impulse!, 1972)
With Terry Gibbs
- Terry Gibbs Plays Jewish Melodies in Jazztime (Mercury Records, 1963)
- Hootenanny My Way (Mercury, 1963)
- El Nutto (Limelight Records, 1964)
With Charlie Haden
With Joe Henderson
With McCoy Tyner
- "The Lucky Thompson Discography 1957–1974". Retrieved February 17, 2011.
- "Swamini A. C. Turiyasangitananda". Sai Anantam Ashram. Archived from the original on 21 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-09.
- Hazell, Ed. "Alice Coltrane", The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, ed. B. Kernfeld (London: Macmillan, 2002), i, 494.
- Transfiguration (CD liner notes). Coltrane, Alice. Burbank, California: Sepiatone. 1978. STONE01. Coltrane wrote the liner notes as Turiyasangitananda. She had written liner notes as Turiya Aparna for Universal Consciousness (1971).
- "Background". Sai Anantam Ashram. Archived from the original on 21 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-09.
- Biography at AllMusic
- "Alice Coltrane Quartet featuring Ravi Coltrane with Charlie Haden & Roy Haynes". SFJAZZ. Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
- Gill, Andy (16 August 2013). "Album review: Laura Veirs, Warp and Weft (Bella Union)". The Independent. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- Official website
- Alice Coltrane at All About Jazz
- Alice Coltrane at AllMusic
- Alice Coltrane discography
- Alice Coltrane Playlist: Divine Ferocity
- In-depth Alice Coltrane obituary with a record-by-record overview of her career from NewYorkNightTrain.com
- Last Song For Alice Coltrane , The Indypendent, Steven Wishnia
- RBMA Radio On Demand - Sound Obsession - Volume 7 - Tribute to Alice Coltrane - Kirk Degiorgio (The Beauty Room, As One)
- Alice in Wonder and Awe. An interview at ascentmagazine.com on jazz, God and the spiritual path.
- Alice Coltrane at NPR Music
- Alice Coltrane in discussion with A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami