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Alice Coltrane On Piano Jazz

Alice Coltrane.
Chuck Stewart
Alice Coltrane.

On this episode of Piano Jazz, pianist and composer Alice Coltrane shimmers on a set of her original tunes and honors the legacy of her husband, saxophonist John Coltrane. She also duets with host Marian McPartland in Trane's "Giant Steps" and "Miles' Mode."

"I remember her working at Birdland back before she and John were married," McPartland says. "I enjoyed playing his tunes with her: 'Giant Steps' and also 'Miles' Mode,' which is a very good tune."

Coltrane opens the program with two of her compositions: "Transfiguration" and "Prema (Divine Love)." Her skill as a harpist is reflected in the sparkling, light treble notes of her right hand; with the other hand, she brings the broad, suspended chords of her days playing the organ. Coltrane's playing is dense, which made her a natural replacement for John's former pianist, McCoy Tyner.

McPartland performs solo in the ballad "Naima," before the two get into a final duet in another solid John Coltrane tune, "Blues Minor," to close the program.

Originally recorded Dec. 4, 1981.

Set List

  • "Transfiguration" (A. Coltrane)
  • "Prema (Divine Love)" (A. Coltrane)
  • "Miles' Mode" (J. Coltrane)
  • "One for the Father" (A. Coltrane)
  • "Giant Steps" (J. Coltrane)
  • "Prelude, Opus 27" (F. Chopin)
  • "Naima" (J. Coltrane)
  • "Blues Minor" (J. Coltrane)
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    Grant Jackson