Alice Coltrane - Lord Of Lords
(Superior Viaduct)

Alice Coltrane began working with strings just after her masterstroke with Pharoah Sanders, Journey In Satchidananda. Her records on Impulse, Universal ConsciousnessWorld Galaxy and then Lord Of Lords are essentially her trilogy of work exploring the depth and dynamics of orchestral strings with barely a horn in sight. 1972’s Lord Of Lords is probably her most ambitious of the three with a tremendous orchestra of 12 violins, 6 violas and 7 cellos.
Throughout the LP, Coltrane shows an impeccable knack for resolving and beautifying dissonant trills into sweeping and lush cadences. Just when you feel the arrangements settling into cinematic territories, she embraces uncertainty and cosmic deterioration on “Excerpts From The Firebird.” Charlie Haden’s sense of restraint on upright bass and Ben Riley’s percussive work lay the groundwork for Coltrane’s harp which is twinkling and subtle at times, if not powerful and earth shaking. She also does some fine work on the electric organ on album closer “Going Home," (with Eastern-flavored scales and droning soundscapes) as well as the end of the title track, which features Coltrane letting loose with improvised keyboard runs.
Lord Of Lords is her last LP before leaving Impulse and soon after devoting herself to the Hindu philosophy of Vedanta and creating devotional music exclusively. Nicely remastered from the original tapes by the always reliable Superior Viaduct. (Dom)
Check out a track here