Monument Eternal: The Music of Alice Coltrane (Music by Franya J. Berkman

By Franya J. Berkman

Alice Coltrane was once a composer, improviser, guru, and widow of John Coltrane. Over the process her musical existence, she synthesized a variety of musical genres together with gospel, rhythm-and-blues, bebop, unfastened jazz, Indian devotional music, and Western artwork tune. Her formative years reviews enjoying for African-American congregations in Detroit, the ecstatic and avant-garde improvisations she played at the bandstand together with her husband John Coltrane, and her non secular pilgrimages to India exhibit themselves on greater than twenty albums of unique tune for the Impulse and Warner Brothers labels.

In the past due Seventies Alice Coltrane grew to become a swami, directing another non secular group in Southern California. Exploring her transformation from Alice McLeod, Detroit church pianist and bebopper, to guru Swami Turiya Sangitananda, Monument everlasting illuminates her track and, in flip, finds the phenomenal fluidity of yankee spiritual practices within the moment 1/2 the 20 th century. such a lot of all, this booklet celebrates the hybrid track of a great, boundary-crossing African-American artist.

NOTE: The images during this booklet have been got rid of by means of the writer for the booklet model. Bummer.

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Literary Awards
Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction Nominee for Longlist (2010)

Extra info for Monument Eternal: The Music of Alice Coltrane (Music Culture)

Sample text

Nine years her senior, Ernest played alto saxophone in North Eastern’s concert band, as well as in ensembles for local parties, dances, and amateur contests. ). By the time Alice was studying piano and playing at church, Ernest had switched to the acoustic bass, the instrument on which he would make a lasting contribution during his tragically abbreviated career as a professional musician. ) monument eternal / 32 Barry Harris, whom Ernest had befriended in his youth, recalled the day Ernest switched from saxophone to acoustic bass.

Now it’s still Stravinsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, It’s still those people that get played. Grieg and Mozart. ) Fortunately, Alice McLeod’s African American musical subculture gave her numerous opportunities to grow as an artist. Her teenage years spanned what the Detroit jazz historian Lars Bjorn and his colleague Jim Gallert (2001) have called the city ’s golden age, a period in which “the economy was booming and a take-care-of-business ethos flourished amidst a peer group of young aspirants” (Panken 2000, 44).

Sessions in the Jones, McKinney, and Harris homes, for instance, were common (Bjorn and Gallert 2001, 130). Barry Harris would regularly gather the finest Detroit musicians in his family home to work on new concepts: “My mother was beautiful to all of us, Donald Byrd, Paul (Cambers) and Doug (Watkins). My house was a classroom. We could practice all we wanted” (quoted in Bourne 1985, 27). Harris explained: In Manhattan it’s mostly apartment buildings, and you can’t play an instrument in an apartment building.

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