Ndoho Ange: dance, spoken words; Thomas de Pourquery, tenor sax, vocals; Jan Bang: electronics; Jamie Saft, piano, keyboard, Fender Rhodes; Pasquale Mirra, vibraphone, percussion; Joshua Abrams, double bass, guembri, Hamid Drake, drums, percussion, vocals
One of the greatest drummers of recent decades makes a grand return to the Jazz Festival Ljubljana. The programme it brings, and its dazzling personnel couldn’t have been more inspiring.
Alice Coltrane was one of the most gifted and beloved artists of our current times. She had many admirable qualities. She was a brilliant pianist and organist. Harpist, composer, author of several books and of course the wife of John Coltrane. Even prior to meeting John, Alice had already embarked upon an ever-expanding musical career with many of the great musicians from Detroit, Michigan. The town she was from.
The legacy that Alice and John Coltrane created together was truly monumental. After the passing of John Coltrane, Alice pursued her own career, emphasizing the spiritual nature of music, “spiritual jazz”, and the practices of devotion and meditation. Then she reached a point in her life that called for a semi-retirement from concerts and tours.
At this point, she abandoned her secular life and began to focus more on the growing spiritual community of devotees and seekers that was forming around her. She very seriously took on the role of spiritual guide to this faith community. She adopted the name Swamini Turiya Aparna Sangitananda. This was also a time in her life of great penance and spiritual unveiling.
She was an African American artist, and spiritual master gifted with an extraordinary ability and capacity to bring upliftment, renewal and regeneration to everyone who crossed her path and listened to her music. She was a guiding light for many older and younger musicians. Her impact upon the many dimensions of the music scene is still being felt and will continue for many years to come.
I met Alice Coltrane at a Ravinia Festival concert, outside Chicago, when I was 16. We exchanged addresses and wrote to each other afterwards. Her creativity impacted a host of musicians and listeners. For myself it was and still is very powerful. She gifted me with a spiritual and aesthetic openness that I continually cherish. This project is my way of honoring the great being that enabled a teenager to continue on the path of discovery, wonderment and finding one's own voice. Hamid Drake