ALICE COLTRANE / “Turiya And Ramakrishna”

This week marks the second anniversary of Breath of Life. As we did last year, instead of posting new tracks, Kalamu’s going to pick his favorites from Mtume’s selections of the previous year and Mtume is going to do the same with Kalamu’s selections. And, of course, Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there.

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Mtume’s Picks

Artist: Bobby Bland
Song: “I’ll Take Care Of You”
Album: Two Steps From The Blues (MCA, 1973)
Originally Posted October 22nd, 2006

I’ve never (knowingly) heard a sample of “I’ll Take Care Of You,” but, to me, it sounds like a Wu-Tang Clan record waiting to happen. I think it’s the organ. Hypnotic.

alice coltrane 08_1.jpg  
Artist: Alice Coltrane
Song: “Turiya And Ramakrishna”
Album: Ptah The El Daoud (Impulse!, 1970)
Originally Posted January 21st, 2007


Song: “Isis And Osiris” (Live)
Album: Journey In Satchidananda (Impulse!, 1970)
Originally Posted January 28th, 2007

This was probably my favorite posting of the year. I don’t know why I’ve never heard any of Alice Coltrane’s music before. I won’t get into it here (see Kalamu’s original post for more about Alice’s lack of notoriety), but suffice it to say this was the only time I actually asked Kalamu for more of the same.

…And so, the very next week, Kalamu did the damn thing again, posting an entire second batch of under-recognized Alice Coltrane classics. My favorite track from week two was “Isis And Osiris,” featuring Alice on harp and Pharoah Sanders on soprano sax. Plainly, painfully beautiful.

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Kalamu’s Picks:

Artist: A Tribe Called Quest
Song: “Bonita Applebaum” (12” Boys Mix)
Album: CD Single (Jive - 1990)
Originally Posted July 2, 2006

I dig this song. No qualifications or explanations. I just dig it. The groove of it. Especially the remix. Check the write up. Mtume was guiding us through the second week of ATCQ. The lesson was instructive but I really needed no encouragement because ATCQ’s “Bonita Applebaum” is easily my favorite rap song as music. (By which I mean, the lyrics are cool but I dig the groove). One way I judge how much a selection moves me is by asking myself: does this make me want to listen some more to this particular artist and does it make me go out and cop more works by the artist? (Did you notice I said “one way” and then proceed to talk about two ways—it must be good!)

Artist: Freddie Hubbard
Song: “Red Clay”
Album: Red Clay (CTI - 1970)
Originally Posted July 16, 2006

Mtume may have dropped this one but this was mine. He ain’t really knowed nothing about this one. I had to push him aside and run the voodoo down. Had to. This was music my generation grew up on. We knew it chapter and verse, right down to the punctuations. The kids may have been sampling it but we had done already ate the whole hog. (And, again, if you want to understand what I’m alluding to you should check out the original post.)

One other thing I would like to add is that “Red Clay” is a sterling example of what some of my comrades back in the day used to called “blue collar” jazz. This was fusion on the black hand side, i.e. R&B (as oppose to Miles, who was doing a fusion of jazz and rock). All up and down the street the peeps was down with Red Clay.

Also, on the personal tip, probably totally unrelated in any direct way but profoundly related in an emotional/experiential way, Red Clay was also the name of a collective my daughter Kiini was a part of. The most well known Red Clay alumni is Saul Williams. I used to sit on the floor in an Atlanta apartment reasoning with the then very young heads who were taking their fledging steps out onto the world stage. Red Clay will forever be both Freddie Hubbard and crew tearing up that funky groove and a band of optimistic young Black folk announcing both their connection to our spiritual heritage and their intention to carve their own mark on the clay of Black culture.

—Kalamu ya Salaam

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 17th, 2007 at 2:06 am and is filed under Classic. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “ALICE COLTRANE / “Turiya And Ramakrishna””

ajani Says:
June 17th, 2007 at 8:28 am

Happy father’s day and happy anniversary. Thanks for sharing so much knowledge, music, beauty and love of black culture

Kayvon Says:
June 19th, 2007 at 3:01 pm

Happy Anniversary Breath of Life, good to have you around!

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