Eternity [Sepia Tone]

Eternity [Sepia Tone]

by Alice Coltrane
     
 

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Within the first 30 seconds of "Spiritual Eternal," the opening track on Alice Coltrane's final studio album Eternity, the listener encounters the complete palette of Alice Coltrane's musical thought. As her organ careens through a series of arpeggiated modal drones, they appear seemingly rootless, hanging out in the cosmic eternal. And they remain there ever so… See more details below

Overview

Within the first 30 seconds of "Spiritual Eternal," the opening track on Alice Coltrane's final studio album Eternity, the listener encounters the complete palette of Alice Coltrane's musical thought. As her organ careens through a series of arpeggiated modal drones, they appear seemingly rootless, hanging out in the cosmic eternal. And they remain there ever so briefly until an entire orchestra chimes in behind her in a straight blues waltz that places her wondrously jagged soloing within the context of a universal everything -- at least musically -- in that she moves through jazz, Indian music, blues, 12-tone music, and the R&B of Ray Charles. This is the historical and spiritual context Alice Coltrane made her own, the ability to open up her own sonic vocabulary and seamlessly enter it into an ensemble context for an untold, unpredictable expression of harmonic convergence. While many other players have picked up on it since, Coltrane's gorgeous arrangements and canny musical juxtapositions never seem forced or pushed beyond the margins. Perhaps, as evidenced by "Wisdom Eye," "Om Supreme," and the "Loka" suite, it's because Coltrane already dwells on the fringes both musically and spiritually, where boundaries dissolve and where everything is already inseparable. But this does not keep her music from being strikingly, even stunningly beautiful -- check out the killer Afro-Cuban percussion under her soloing on "Los Caballos," which is rooted in a harmonically complex, diatonic series of whole tones. In numerous settings from orchestra to trio, Coltrane finds the unspeakable and plays it. Nowhere is this more evident than in "Spring Rounds" from Igor Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring," which closes the album. Her faithfulness to the material with a complete orchestra under her control is one of shimmering transcendence that places the composer's work firmly in the context of avant-jazz. Her control over the orchestra is masterful, and her reading of the section's nuances and subtleties rivals virtually everyone who's ever recorded it. Eternity is ultimately about the universality of tonal language and its complex expressions. It is an enduring recording that was far ahead of its time in 1976 and is only now getting the recognition it deserves. [Sepia Tone reissued the CD in 2002.]

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/07/2002
Label:
Sepia Tone
UPC:
0655036000526
catalogNumber:
5
Rank:
233131

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Alice Coltrane   Primary Artist,Organ,Conductor,Cymbals,Harp,Electric Piano,Timpani,fender rhodes
Ray Kelley   Cello
Hubert Laws   Flute
Jerome Richardson   Alto Flute,Soprano Saxophone
Armando Peraza   Conga
Ben Riley   Drums,Bass Drums,Gong,Timbales
Murray Adler   Violin
George Bohannon   Trombone
Oscar Brashear   Trumpet
Rollice Dale   Viola
Anne Goodman   Cello
Charlie Haden   Bass
Terry Harrington   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Paul Hubinon   Trumpet
Nathan Kaproff   Violin
Jackie Kelso   Tenor Saxophone
Charles Loper   Trombone
Gordon Marron Strings   Violin
Jack Marsh   Bassoon
Ed Michel   Wind Chimes
Marilyn Robinson   French Horn
Sid Sharp   Violin
Polly Sweeney   Violin
Ernie Watts   English Horn
Vincent DeRosa   French Horn
Bill Kurasch   Violin
Julian Spear   Bass Clarinet
Susan Judy   Vocals
Jo Ann Caldwell   Contrabassoon
Edward Cansino   Vocals
Don Christieb   Bassoon
Deborah Coomer   Vocals
Jackie Elso   Clarinet
Charlie Goldsmith   Viola
Jackie Lustgarte   Cello
Mike Nowack   Viola
Jean Packer   Vocals
Paul Vorwerk   Vocals
William Yeomans   Vocals
Louise di Tullio   Piccolo
Alan Robinson   French Horn

Technical Credits

Baker Bigsby   Engineer
Alice Coltrane   Arranger
Ed Michel   Producer
Ed Thrasher   Art Direction
Moshe Brakha   Cover Photo
Lockhart   Cover Design

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