Program Type:Arts, Computers/Tech, Discuss, Explore, Listen, Play/Just for Fun, Science/Nature
Alice Coltrane was born Alice McLeod on August 27, 1937, in Detroit, Michigan. An accomplished pianist and one of the few harpists in the history of jazz, Coltrane recorded many albums as a bandleader, beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s for Impulse! and other record labels. She was married to the jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane, with whom she performed in 1966–1967. One of the foremost proponents of spiritual jazz, her eclectic music proved influential both within and outside the world of jazz.
Journey in Satchidananda is the fourth solo album by Alice Coltrane. Four of the album's tracks were recorded at the Coltrane home studios in Dix Hills, New York, in November 1970, while the remaining track was recorded live at the Village Gate in July of that year. It was released by Impulse! Records in 1971. On the album, Coltrane appears on piano and harp, and is joined by saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, bassists Cecil McBee (studio tracks) and Charlie Haden (live track), and drummer Rashied Ali. Vishnu Wood also appears on oud on the live track, while the studio recordings also feature Majid Shabazz on bells and tambourine and Tulsi on tanpura.
Journey in Satchidananda is important in that it marks a transition between Coltrane's first three recordings and her subsequent releases, which reveal a more personalized outlook. The album's title and title track reflect the influence of Swami Satchidananda, to whom Coltrane had become close while being his disciple.
The editors of AllMusic awarded the album a full 5 stars, and Thom Jurek stated, "this is a remarkable album, and necessary for anyone interested in the development of modal and experimental jazz. It's also remarkably accessible".
Pitchfork's Josephine Livingstone noted that the album "pays full tribute to the transformation that [Coltrane] underwent in the late 1960s—as a human being and artist," and commented: "this is a record as much about the soul as it is about skilled orchestration... the very texture of Journey is defined by transition, process, and flow. Its music has no beginning or end. Instead... Coltrane is working with the principle of looping and transcendence."
NPR's Sydnee Monday stated: "Almost 50 years after Journey In Satchidananda was released, the album remains a vision of universal healing, spiritual self-preservation in times of trouble and the god that appears when you seek her out."