Feeling It: Alice Coltrane / Turiyasangitananda
This summer, I mentioned to Keith that the person I thought it would be most meaningful for me to hear in person would be Alice Coltrane. About a month later, we started seeing her picture around town and we read in Essence that she not only had a new album out but also would be playing in Newark. We of course picked up the CD and knew we had to go to the concert. Translinear Light comes decades later and has a different sound, but Coltrane's healing science is still at work. There is a certain peace I have while listening to "Sita Ram" -- particularly when she plays the lower frequencies on the organ. In fact, hearing it live when she played in Newark was particularly powerful because we could feel the frequencies physically moving us. I play "Sita Ram" and "Satya Sai Isha" frequently, both because they move me and because I want to understand how they move me. They are both Hindu hymns played as if they are Black American Christian hymns. Or perhaps I should say that is how I hear them.
Or maybe I should say what I really mean. The too simple way to say it is that I knew it would be meaningful for me to see Coltrane live (and not just listen to her album) because I appreciate the ways she is black and universal. It's not just about the ways she brings Black American and Indian musical traditions together, but that is a focusing point for my attention. I have more to say about her but I'll stop here. I'm going to participate in some MLK day events. Later, I'll come back to AC and James Brown. Love to all, Mendi