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The Om Factor

02/03/2017Luaka Bop To Release Spiritual Compilation By Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda

Although we usually don't cover the big names and rather try to circumvent the at times overpowering Anglo-American grasp on so-called popular culture, we could not deny the latent 'Om' factor underlying this historic, soon-to-be-released compilation by New York-based imprint Luaka Bop (does William Onyeabor ring a bell?), covering ecstatic music by a certain Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda. Yes, that is THE Alice Coltrane, who was once married to the late jazz great John Coltrane and was a brilliant musician in her own right, with prominent releases dating back to her Impulse! solo debut "A Monastic Trio" released in 1967, coincidentally the year of John Coltrane's death. (Here's an extensive yet worthwhile follow-up read by Pitchfork's Andy Beta)

Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda was a spiritual person to say the least. Spirituality as a matter of fact shaped and guided the last four decades of her life, an often overlooked process that began during her four-year marriage to John Coltrane and continued well thereafter. In 1983 for instance, Alice laid the groundwork for the Sai Anantam Ashram on the outskirts of Los Angeles, where she began to record and release music on private cassette tapes to distribute within the spiritual community.

On May 12th, Luaka Bop is now set to release a compilation consisting of said recordings, thereby making eight of these songs available to the wider public for the first time ever. The 2LP vinyl release will even contain two more songs than the digital, CD and cassette releases. All songs were derived from four cassette tapes, recorded by Alice between 1982 and 1995, respectively entitled "Turiy Sings", "Divine Songs", "Infinite Chants" and "Glorious Chants". This historic compilation will be released as the first volume of Luaka Bop's "World Spirituality Classics" series of essential spiritual music. For more information, visit the release page. As for a sneak preview, see the video below or check our SoundCloud player above for the full version of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda's "Om Shanti". Om.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom