About an hour into the first set of the show on Sunday we spun an epic string of spiritual jazz; Houston’s Billy Harper, Marion Brown, Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes, and it all started with this one. The second track from Alice Coltrane’s stunning 1970 LP Ptah, The El Daoud; a song entitled “Turyia & Ramakrishna.” On the title of the song, Wikipedia states: “…according to the liner notes, “Turyia” was defined by Alice as ‘a state of consciousness — the high state of Nirvana, the goal of human life”, while “Ramakrishna” is named after the 19th-century Bengali religious figure.”
The track is an 8-minute-plus cut with just the trio of Coltrane on piano, Ron Carter on bass and Ben Riley on percussion. Modal, bluesy and hauntingly beautiful, the song may just steal the show on an album that is likely her most underrated and arguably her masterpiece (we like it even more than the often lauded “Journey Into Satchidananda” album). If you missed it, you can check it out here. Fair warning, you will listen to it multiple times. Be sure to check out the rest of the album too. While it’ll be tough (and expensive) to find an original copy of the Impulse! album, it is fairly available on CD.