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Alice Coltrane Gives Rare Performance in New Jersey

For the first time in nearly two decades, the legendary and visionary avant-jazz pianist Alice Coltrane will perform in the United States, leading her own quartet through a program comprising her songs as well as those of her late husband, John Coltrane. The quartet is rounded out by her son Ravi on tenor and soprano saxophone, Charlie Haden on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums; the latter two frequently collaborated with Coltrane in the ’70s.

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Alternate Routes series will host the first of three United States concerts-and only one on the East Coast-the Translinear Light Concert, at Prudential Hall on Saturday, October 22 at 5 p.m. Tickets range from $22 to $68 and are available by telephone at 1-888-GO-NJPAC, at the NJPAC box office at One Center Street in downtown Newark or by visiting the NJPAC Web site at

For this special performance, the Alice Coltrane Quartet will play music Coltrane composed in the ’60s (found on her seminal Impulse! recordings), music from her most recent album (2004’s Translinear Light) and pieces by John, who would have turned 80 on Sept. 23. She will also debut two songs from her upcoming release, Sacred Language of Ascension. Although she is also known for her innovative harp playing, Mrs. Coltrane will not be playing the celestial stringed instrument, opting instead for piano, synthesizer and Wurlitzer organ.

Perhaps best known for her Eastern explorations and experiments in merging postbop and free jazz with Carnatic music, the 69-year-old Coltrane has blazed an easily recognizable trail in the realm of avant-garde jazz, her albums-notably 1970’s Ptah the El-Daoud and 1971’s Journey in Satchidananda-gaining more acclaim as time marches on and adventurous listeners discover their beautiful, exotic appeal. Given the stellar line-up and her lack of live appearances over the years, this concert wouldn’t be wrongly tagged as a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Originally Published