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Journey in Satchidananda

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iTunes Review

With one of the most indelible basslines in music history, the curtains open onto Journey into Satchidananda. Cecil McBee puts so much weight and stature into the opening figure of the album’s title track that the music seems pulled straight from the Earth’s soil. The contributions of McBee and drummer Rashied Ali cannot be overstated; they provide the anchor around which Alice Coltrane’s harp and piano is allowed to hum and float. Additionally, Vishnu Wood’s oud, Tulsi Sen Gupta’s tambura, and Majid Shabazz’s bells and tambourine cast over these songs a ceremonial dust directly inspired by Coltrane’s study of Hindu ritual. This is music not just for meditation, but for transportation; through the unfurling layers of Coltrane’s music, regal vistas from the past and future begin to take shape before your eyes. Utterly serene yet deeply rooted in the toil of the blues, Journey in Satchidananda brought a whole new sound into being and confirmed Alice Coltrane as a musical personality equal to, but distinct from, her husband.

Customer Reviews

Perhaps the greatest achievement in a career that has sadly ended

Sadly, Alice Coltrane passed away on January 12, 2007. At the time it was created, Journey in Satchidananda was one of the first recordings to approach Eastern music from the jazz perspective. It remains the best. For over 35 years, the album or CD has played in my home or car; I have never grown tired of this music—the title track has played in my head again and again. (I am especially fond of the music created by Ms. Coltrane on harp, although her piano playing also is marvelous.) If you’re not familiar with jazz but can enjoy other forms of music, then a 99-cent investment for the title track could take you to a new place indeed. If you’re familiar with the world of Ms. Coltrane and her contemporaries in 1970, you will totally dig this music. Pharoah Sanders interweaves beautiful melodies around Alice’s trance-like harp passages, both of them dance over a solid bottom created by bass, drums and tamboura. Has the melding of Eastern music with jazz ever gotten better than this?

More than Music

This album simply and effortlessly reaches beyond what I would call mere music. It can bring you somewhere else. Just listening to Isis and Osiris does something that can move you into some other state of being--mind, body, soul, and just buh-boom, hit something within you. If jazz has a place in your heart, then this will blow it away.

Bass player

I believe the bassist on this album is Charlie Haden correct me if I'm wrong.


Born: August 27, 1937 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Alice Coltrane was an uncompromising pianist, composer and bandleader, who spent the majority of her life seeking spiritually in both music and her private life. Music ran in Alice Coltrane's family; her older brother was bassist Ernie Farrow, who in the '50s and '60s played in the bands of Barry Harris, Stan Getz, Terry Gibbs, and especially Yusef Lateef. Alice McLeod began studying classical music at the age of seven. She attended Detroit's Cass Technical High School with pianist Hugh Lawson and...
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