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Alice Coltrane Returns to Studio

Surprise, surprise: Alice Coltrane (pictured) is currently finishing work on a new studio album, her first in more than 25 years. We received this news yesterday in a press release from Verve, which owns the Impulse label, which will release the album in September. That’s a ways off, but what’s another six months when we’ve been so patient for so long?

For the ignorant: Alice Coltrane is the widow of saxophonist John Coltrane. She played piano in John’s band from 1965 until his death in 1967, adding a wonderfully exploratory element to the music on albums like Expression and Live in Japan. After John’s death Alice began to record as a leader and produced a body of work equally as spiritual as her late husband’s that includes remarkable, visionary discs like Journey in Satchidananda (where Alice dazzles with her harp-playing skills) and the live Transfiguration.

We’re licking our chops over the new album’s personnel list. In addition to Alice, who plays piano and Wurlitzer organ, the album features bassist Charlie Haden, drummer Jack DeJohnette and saxophonist/son Ravi Coltrane, who also serves as producer. Verve hinted that other players make appearances on the disc, but didn’t name names. There is still work to be done for the album, but to date the group has recorded tunes by Alice and John, as well as a few traditional spirituals.

So, hold tight for a few months, and in the meantime check out < ahref= target+blank>Alice’s page at Impulse’s Web site, as well as Sepia Tone Records, which reissued a few long out-of-print A.C. discs in 2002.

Originally Published