“World Galaxy” by Alice Coltrane (1972)
Release Date: February 1972
Produced by Alice Coltrane and Ed Michel
Genre: Jazz, Free Jazz
Label: Impulse Records
Chart Positions: N/A
Singles Certifications: N/A
Other Charting Tracks: N/A
Best Tracks: All five tracks are outstanding!
Alice Coltrane was the second wife of jazz legend John Coltrane. “World Galaxy” is her sixth studio album and is considered by those that have experienced the album to be a spiritual journey of enlightenment. The album was recorded in a span of two days in November 1971.
In this album Alice plays the harp and piano (as she did on her previous albums) but also extended her list of instruments to percussion, organ and tamboura becoming a multi-instrumentalist with “World Galaxy.” The harp, Alice's prime instrument, has been considered by many to be a cosmic symbol, symbolizing angels, peace and heavenly bodies. “World Galaxy” is an acquired taste and takes a few listens to understand Coltrane’s intention of where she’s taking the music.
Several critics consider “World Galaxy” to be one of the early 70s' finest moments in jazz music.
Alice wrote three of the five tracks from the album which construct the Galaxy suite. Also included is an inspirational avant-garde jazz rendition of Rogers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things,” Alice completely reworked the song to the point that you almost don't recognize parts of it until you sit still and listen. It's a colossal of visions and atmospheric texturing of cosmic strings that propel this piece into a world of its own. John Coltrane did a more accessible standard rendition of the song in 1961 that has been considered one of his signature pieces.
"My Favorite Things" (1972)
The final track is a cover of John Coltrane’s classic “A Love Supreme,” Alice adds an ethereal sense to the music while progressing into a somewhat jive-bop style (yes I am creating my own new genre to describe the song) that gives the song a bit more lift than John Coltrane’s original. Alice was known for taking a song and completely turning it into a obscure avant-garde work of art, in this manner she was wholly successful with the creation of "World Galaxy."
Alice Coltrane (1972)