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The Guardian festival blog: Musical bliss: the London jazz festival pays tribute to Alice and John Coltrane | Music


It seems astonishing now, but Alice Coltrane’s music was not always taken seriously. Jazz histories didn’t mention her, and the gatekeepers of the jazz canon would often sneer at what they regarded as her patchouli-scented, orientalist exotica; her soft-headed dabbling in Indian and African themes. “One wonders if she would have enjoyed any attention at all if she had remained plain Alice McLeod,” says the late Richard Cook in his usually reliable Jazz Encyclopedia.

Today she is no longer seen as the Yoko Ono to John Coltrane’s Lennon but more as the Simone de Beauvoir to his Jean-Paul Sartre; as a once unheralded icon who might even be starting to eclipse her sainted husband.

Alice Coltrane in the 70s.



Alice Coltrane in the 70s. Photograph: Echoes/Redferns

She began to be namechecked by a motley crew of artists way beyond the jazz world, such as Radiohead, Four Tet, Björk, Huggy Bear and Erykah Badu. Since her death a decade ago, the…



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

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