Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Vimana Tone

We are back for two posts in three days, featuring anniversaries of two monster concerts by two absolute keyboard deities.
The first one just surfaced in the last few months, courtesy of a really nice vinyl bootleg from Germany, and let me warn you it's a Grail.
No one knew a master soundboard tape of Alice Coltrane during her seminal impulse! period even existed, but we sure are glad it does.
This show is like an astral, celestial voyage and the Maestro assaults her modified Wurlitzer organ -- there's a monophonic synthesizer built into it -- and her harp with Vedic vigor for the whole 78 minutes.
The organ solos alone will be enough to melt the plaque off your back and the grime off your mind.
How or why this was recorded we may never fully know. It goes strong to 15 kHz in the spectral analysis, so it could have been taped for KPFA-FM in Berkeley -- Alice had a performance from a year previous partially aired on there -- but never broadcast.
It makes fully no difference, as long as it's here and between our ears, amirite? Undiscovered gems such as this are what makes the world of archival and unissued audio worth inhaling.
All right, cut the chatter and spin the platter: I must have played this 50 times since it came out in May and it does not diminish with repetition in the slightest.
Alice Coltrane Sextet
Berkeley Community Theater
Berkeley, California USA

01 Journey In Satchidananda 
02 A Love Supreme 
03 My Favorite Things 
04 Leo

Total time: 1:18:01

Alice Coltrane - harp, organ, piano & synthesizer
Charlie Haden - bass
Ben Riley - drums
Aashish Khan - sarod
Pranesh Khan - tabla & percussion
Bobby Winn - tamboura & percussion

heretofore hidden master soundboard-sourced recording; spectral analysis indicates possible FM lineage but who knows?
taken from the 2019 bootleg 2LP set "Live At the Berkeley Community Theater 1972" on BCT Records
I'll be back on Thursday with another stunning display of pianistic wizardry, in a wholly different but somehow strikingly similar vein.
Don't even think about hesitating on this one today, though... it's like a private voyage on the sacred, flying vimanas of Alice Coltrane's fingertips and you know you wanna take the trip.--J.
8.27.1937 - 1.12.2007