Urban haps of a grrrl on a mission to be a better writer, a new music master-blaster and a wonderfully brilliant razor-packing, MAC LipGlass wearing feminista...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Alice Coltrane: 1937-2007 to Eternity

On Monday morning I laid in the bed listening to WBLS I think it was. They played this part of a speech by Martin Luther King that I had never heard before, which is really surprising because I've spent so much of my undergrad time studying him and his speeches in one capacity or another. Maybe I just forgot it or something but it was the part of the speech he made the day before he was assassinated that talked about him being stabbed and if he had sneezed how the blade would have punctured his heart, which he then used as a metaphor to talk about the civil rights struggle. I felt so invigorated after hearing it.

As it ended and I made my way to the kitchen I heard the announcer saying he regrets to announce that Alice Coltrane has passed. I was stunned. I went straight from feeling fresh to feeling troubled. My friends that know me know how so very much I love this woman and her music. Todd will tell you how I became totally obsessed with Ebay and getting her albums (A Monastic Trio & Eternity-- this is before Impulse! reissued them as cd's) and how I frantically would try to outbid everyone like it was some crazy Sotheby's auction. Or Imani will tell you about the day she came to my house and how excited I was to receive in the mail-- World Galaxy-- that I had won of course on ebay. As I slid the vinyl on my turntables and Alice's harp played I just sat there on the floor with nothing but the light of candles surrounding me while meditating on life and love. Imani proceeded to sleep for like 2 hours having what she says was one of her best naps ever cause all she heard in her dreams was that beautiful harp. So I am sad. Especially when I look at today's landscape of alleged musical wunderkinds. I'm sorry Ciara, Alicia Keys and Beyonce don't even come close to matching the artistry of Alice Coltrane. And with every passing of Black Music's brightest-- James Brown, Barry White, etc it makes me weary. It has taken me all of three days just to post about this. If you don't know much about her check this site and this one is also really good.

I still have to get Lord of Lords, Universal Consciousness and Ptah the El Daoud (with Ron Carter on bass & Joe Henderson on flute...CRAZY!!!) I must say though that I feel good, fulfilled in the sense that I did get a chance to see Ms.Coltrane live at Joe's Pub in 2002. It was an unforgettable experience to be in such an intimate space with someone so wonderfully awesome. She didn't say much but she didn't need to. The piano spoke for her and when her and Ravi performed Love Supreme together it was truly an outer worldly experience. Rest in peace.

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Blogger Kenji Jasper said...

May her spirit rest in peace and he work live on forever

1/18/2007 3:08 PM


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