Boomkat Product Review:
Worthy of highest praise, Alice Coltrane’s pivotal 9th album sees the spiritual jazz deity most holistically blend Hindustani classical with the gospel and R&B of her youth in Detroit, and the dissonance of modern classical, in a groundbreaking suite of personalised devotionals.
Breathtaking in scope and effect, the 1975 recordings of ‘Eternity’ pay witness to Coltrane at a peak of her transcendent majesty on a first record for Warner Bros. Ranging from a rollercoaster take on Stravinsky’s ‘Rites of Spring’ to her first work based on bhajans, or Hindu devotional song, and culminating in dreamfood string fantasies, the album is the definition of a timeless evergreen and leaves one with heart-in-mouth, bowing to its lush optimism. Its emotional tenor runs the gamut of heartbreaking romance to elegiac bliss, and harder to place, complex and guttural sensations that burst from the chest, ravishing and soothing senses with a glorious sense of rhythm, tone, and tongue-tip timbre that has floated a thousand and one musical imaginations in her cosmic wake.
Under Alice Coltrane’s visionary direction, a symphonic ensemble help manifest her dilated weltanschuaang in six parts that contract and expand from the seeds of Hindustani-schooled organ drone and flighty wind and strings to ‘Morning Worhsip’, into a jaw-dropping spin on Stravinsky’s notorious modern classical touchstone in ‘Spring Rounds’, before stretching space-time on the devilishly grooving murmurations of ‘Los Cabellos’, and summoning a love sublime in her devotional chants to ‘Om Supreme’, before surrendering the big band swoon of ‘Spiritual Eternal’, and cradling one’s jaw and temples in ‘Wisdom Eye’.
In effect, the album comes to beautifully build on the themes of her late ‘60s breakthroughs ‘A Monastic Trio’, ‘Huntington Ashram Monastery’, and 'Cosmic Music’ with her dearly departed John, and likewise distill the big bang of 1970’s ‘Universal Consciousness’, with a rarified negotiation and magnification of inner thought and ever-outward expression that feels to heal the world, align its chakras, for the duration and beyond. Once felt never forgotten, this one.