For many, Alice Coltrane, widow of the John Coltrane (AKA God), performed a serious crime.
She took lost recordings of her late husband, added instruments to them and released them in 1972. John died in 1967.
It’s silly to be mad at her, because the final result is the real thing here and romanticism aside, and the final result is just brilliant and I’ll explain right after this carpet-like album cover.
In the mid sixties, John Coltrane was in the peak of his creative heights.
He enjoyed a massive burst of creativity and productivity, while the top of the pops of his creation was A Love Supreme.
He was so good during these years, that his label Impulse! just gave him the keys to the studio and commanded him to use it as much as possible, even in the middle of the night, and even if he needs to pull the audio engineer from his bed and get him to the studio in his pajama
That was a clever desicion made by the Impulse! cheifs, as the time between 1962-1967 led some revolutionary works.
Also, his band, known as the classic John Coltrane Quartet, had went through some changes as well, as Coltrane asked to explore new sounds and possibilities by enlarging the number of people in the group, adding another drummer or a bass player and in some point, adding his wife Alice on piano as well.
In this stage, years of 65-67, Coltrane is playing post-music, he’s a cosmic connection between the men and the creation.
And then he died in 1967, leaving a huge catalog behind him, some that were previously unreleased, and especially a huge myth around his name.
Alice, a brilliant pianist and harper with her own beautiful solo albums, took four unreleased recordings of her late husband from 1965 with the classic quartet and two from 1966 when they were joined by Rashid Ali. She then added piano and harp playing and wrote strings arrangements.
The result, Infinity, is just too beautiful. John Coltrane had never sound so rich and tempting.
It was also his first orchestrated record, though he did release Africa/Brass Sessions, but that album was only accompanied by brass and not strings. Also, Coltrane was in a different part of his career, he was yet to be known as god.
But I truly prefer to thank her for giving the listeners another angel to look at Coltrane’s music, an angel that we might have missed, and therefore miss another aspect of his amazing talent.
[Audio] Alice Coltrane – Peace On Earth