The Detroit-born Alice Coltrane was John Coltrane
's last pianist. Now, nearly 40 years after his passing, she's released a studio recording that continues her husband's investigations of Eastern and Indian music. Drummers Jack DeJohnette
and Jeff "Tain" Watts
and bassists Charlie Haden
and James Genus provide the Traneish tempos, while Coltrane's sons Ravi
(tenor, soprano) and Oran (alto) offer coloration on horns. Mrs. Coltrane's complex piano forays are complemented by her otherworldly Wurlitzer organ and synthesizer effects. Along with new compositions like the title track, she delivers new versions of her own works, such as "Blue Nile" and "Sita Ram" (from Ptah the El Dahoud
and Universal Consciousness
respectively), as well as her husband's classic, "Crescent." Her reverent readings of the African-American spirituals "Walk With Me" and "This Train" prove how deftly she can combine the oldest music in the world with the newest. --Eugene Holley, Jr.