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Jazz News

Alice Coltrane: 'Translinear Light'

Alice Coltrane
Doualy Xaykaothao, NPR /
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Alice Coltrane
Cover for Alice Coltrane's Translinear Light (Impulse Records, 2004)
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Cover for Alice Coltrane's Translinear Light (Impulse Records, 2004)

If jazz legend John Coltrane has disciples -- musical or otherwise -- chief among them would be his widow, Alice Coltrane.

Alice Coltrane, now 67, met her husband when they were both touring jazz musicians -- she was a noted bebop jazz pianist and classically trained musician. She shared with her husband a passion for both music and the spiritual side of human experience. At one point, she joined her husband's famed quartet on piano, replacing jazz great McCoy Tyner.

When her famous husband died of liver cancer in 1967, Alice Coltrane became a fierce guardian of his vast musical estate. She was also left with the task of raising their four children. She continued with a string of well-received albums, but quit the jazz world in 1978.

Now, after a 26-year hiatus, Alice Coltrane is back with a new CD, Translinear Light. The title is a play on the Coltrane name, and also a nod to Alice Coltrane's deep spirituality.

"Look at what trance means," she tells The Tavis Smiley Show producer Roy Hurst. "It means to transcend... it means to become transcendental! So if we get a singular transcendental path of light, that could lead to such great dimensions of consciousness, of revelation, of spirituality, of spiritual power."

Alice Coltrane will join her son Ravi Coltrane and artists Savion Glover and Branford Marsalis in a concert to benefit the John Coltrane Foundation on Sept. 30 in Los Angeles.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.