RIP Alice Coltrane

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Alice Coltrane, widow of John, has died at the age of 69. That seems young to me, for all the history she experienced and lived.

Of course, she's most famous as a woman who lived and collaborated with a great man, but it's not as if her talent as a composer, pianist, and harpist, or her historical interest died with him. In particular her late 60s and early 70s albums where she worked with her late husband's collaborators are underrated standouts; A Monastic Trio, Ptah, the El Daoud and Journey in Satchidinanda are my favorites.

Later in life she focused most of her energies on religious matters, converting to Hinduism and leading her own ashram in southern California. In the late 90s and 00s she returned to public performance, sometimes with her and John's son Ravi Coltrane. There was a new album, a chant-oriented religious work called Sacred Language of Ascension, originally scheduled for a February 2007 release, but according to her Web site it had been postponed before her death.

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