Alice Coltrane – Journey in Satchidananda
1970 – Impulse
I have written about this album before for Vinyl Me, Please, but since this will be my 53rd blog post (beginning of year 2), I thought it might be fun to take a deeper dive. Coltrane’s harp playing that opens up side one is perfect. It helps to set the mood for the entire album. It is as times both ethereal and concrete. It is not just her harp playing that is awesome, she really kills it on piano too. Her lines are creative and original. It is interesting to think of this album in the context of what has come after it. You can hear the beginnings of hip hop throughout this LP. Solid basslines with relaxed beats underneath sheets of sound. I’m not sure how she did it, but all at once, this album is relaxing but keeps you on the edge of your seat. Mixing traditional Indian music with a form of meditative jazz, Coltrane created a classic album. Cecil McBee on bass is another highlight. He keeps everything moving forward and on track. Nothing gets too out there on this album, which in my opinion, makes it a great album with which to introduce others to jazz. There is a lot to grab onto here and many different kind of music listeners can find something that they can gravitate towards. If you haven’t heard this album yet, do yourself a favor and pick it up.