Listen to Alice Coltrane’s unheard spiritual music

David Byrne's Luaka Bop label will put out a selection of the jazz great’s private devotional songs

In the late 60s and early 70s, Alice Coltrane married jazz with the eastern spiritualism she’d discovered through her late husband, John. This coupling produced trailblazing albums like Ptah, the El Daoud, in which Coltrane continued her experiments with harp as well as the piano, and 1971’s Journey in Satchidananda, on which she immersed herself in the teachings of Swami Satchidananda.

Though these recordings have become landmarks in the canon, she also recorded a wealth of purely spiritual music that, until now, has only existed on self-recorded tapes, which were only circulated within her own spiritual community. Rediscovered by David Byrne's Luaka Bop label, they are new being released as World Spirituality Classics, Volume 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, the first in a series of spiritual music from around the world.

Luaka Bop tapped Coltrane’s children to find the original recordings from the Coltrane vault, which were then remastered by Coltrane and Sun Ra engineer Baker Bigsby. The recordings are the first in Alice Coltrane’s back catalogue to feature her singing and include everything from solo harp performances to a 24-piece choir. In the year that would have marked Coltrane’s 80th birthday, and a decade since her death, the album reveals yet another facet of one of the most vital and innovative forces in 20th century music.

World Spirituality Classics, Volume 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda tracklist:
Om Rama
Om Shanti
Rama Rama
Rama Guru

Hari Narayan
Journey to Satchidananda
Er Ra
Keshnava Murahara
Krishna Japaye
Rama Katha

World Spirituality Classics, Volume 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda is released by Luaka Bop on 5 May