Monument Eternal: The Music of Alice Coltrane

Overview

Alice Coltrane was a composer, improviser, guru, and widow of John Coltrane. Over the course of her musical life, she synthesized a wide range of musical genres including gospel, rhythm-and-blues, bebop, free jazz, Indian devotional song, and Western art music. Her childhood experiences playing for African-American congregations in Detroit, the ecstatic and avant-garde improvisations she performed on the bandstand with her husband John Coltrane, and her religious pilgrimages to India reveal themselves on more ...
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Monument Eternal: The Music of Alice Coltrane

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Overview

Alice Coltrane was a composer, improviser, guru, and widow of John Coltrane. Over the course of her musical life, she synthesized a wide range of musical genres including gospel, rhythm-and-blues, bebop, free jazz, Indian devotional song, and Western art music. Her childhood experiences playing for African-American congregations in Detroit, the ecstatic and avant-garde improvisations she performed on the bandstand with her husband John Coltrane, and her religious pilgrimages to India reveal themselves on more than twenty albums of original music for the Impulse and Warner Brothers labels.

In the late 1970s Alice Coltrane became a swami, directing an alternative spiritual community in Southern California. Exploring her transformation from Alice McLeod, Detroit church pianist and bebopper, to guru Swami Turiya Sangitananda, Monument Eternal illuminates her music and, in turn, reveals the exceptional fluidity of American religious practices in the second half of the twentieth century. Most of all, this book celebrates the hybrid music of an exceptional, boundary-crossing African-American artist.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"…writing about Alice Coltrane matters—because her music and life bears on major ethnological questions of today concerning hybridity, globalization, and the late-capitalist music culture."—Peter Monaghan, Chronicle of Higher Education

“a compelling portrait of an extraordinary woman…a fascinating and important study.”—Pamela Margels, The WholeNote

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819569257
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 9/23/2010
  • Series: Music Culture
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

FRANYA BERKMAN is an assistant professor in the Department of Music at Lewis & Clark College.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Alice Coltrane as Turiyasangitananda
God’s Child in the Motor City
Manifestation
Universal Consciousness
Glorious Chants
Notes
Bibliography
Discography
Index
Illustrations follow page 46 
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