Analog Adventures: Journey in Satchidananda

Alice Coltrane

Journey in Satchidananda



About the Artist

Alice Coltrane is known as John Coltrane’s wife, but stands on her own as a great composer. Her style of jazz is soaked in psychedelia and Eastern music making it stand out in a tough genre. After John’s death, Alice began a journey of self discovery. She became the pupil of Swami Satchidananda and dedicated her life to God. From that point forward her music became far more experimental, incorporating elements of free jazz and other avant garde genres. Journey in Satchidananda is a disjointed yet whole composition existing not in the past and present, but simply in the moment.

The Record Itself

The title track begins with the double bass repeating a motif, a la A Love Supreme. This funeral dirge is joined by a droning sitar, followed by the ethereal harp played by none other than Alice Coltrane. The saxophone joins in, Pharaoh Sanders leading the choir of misfit instruments using the bass as his compass. The drums hold the course steady, keeping in the pocket while toying around with rhythm. Alice comes back to show everybody exactly what she needs to say with a harp solo. It sounds like icicles falling on a cherubs wings. This is not just a jazz composition, it is a meditation.

The rear cover of the record.


The two part conclusion the record Isis and Osiris manages to keep perfect time while sounding as if it is falling apart. The drums brilliantly keep time against a frantic harp and saxophone. Spirituality is a central theme to this record. The imagery of the queen Isis resurrecting the slain king Osiris represents Alice resurrecting John through her music. His spirit lives on through this album all while being fully Alice. The conclusion of the album brings the central themes of life, death, love, and resurrection together and the audience applauds as the musicians take their bow.

Physically Speaking

The record is pressed on a hefty 200 gram disc, giving extra gravitas to the composition as a whole. The cover depict Coltrane in an Indian dress and appearing thoughtful. The plain gradient background sunbursts from blood orange to yellow as Coltrane shines as the bright as the stars in the center of the cover. The enveloping and welcoming colors invite the listener to join Coltrane on her journey.

Is it Worth It?

For a high quality composition full of expressive and expert musicianship, Journey in Satchidananda is well worth the asking price. This reissue is commonly found and is among the better variations of this record. This is often found in record stores and can be found online through marketplaces such as Discogs.


Outstanding Tracks

  • Journey in Satchidananda
  • Something About John Coltrane
  • Isis and Osiris

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Jose Diaz

Collector of analog media.

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