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The Guardian festival blog: ‘It’s like you’re on top of the Alps’: Alice Coltrane’s spiritual jazz rediscovered | Music


Fifty years after the death of John Coltrane, another legend will be celebrated at the London jazz festival this weekend: his wife.

Alice Coltrane, a harpist and pianist who died in 2007, continues to find new audiences with her hypnotic glissando rolls, chord clusters and unison choral lines. Contemporary musicians Kamasi Washington and James Holden are among her fans.

Alice learned classical piano when young, and studied in Paris under Bud Powell, but her talents weren’t hugely appreciated in the 1960s. This was partly due to the man with whom she fell in love in 1963. John Coltrane became her husband two years later and asked her to step into his band – which coincided with the saxophonist’s move into freer, more atonal music.

“Critics blamed her for that – it was like John and Yoko,” says harpist Alina Bzhezhinska, who is playing at a joint tribute concert on Friday night. “This happened even though Alice was…



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Straight from The Guardian
(image courtesy of http://www.rosestallard.com/)

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