Panduranga Henderson – Ocean of Love

My Record Store Day, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday purchase from eBay.

From the ashram that brought you The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda.

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Vinyl Edje

It took awhile but I finally added a turntable with speakers to my home office listening experience. The records I own have been calling me to play them again or for the very first time (I’m referring to past Record Store Day purchases that have all remained sealed for years).

Vinyl Edje is Born
AUDIO-TECHNICA
AT-LP120-USB Turntable + Audioengine A2 Speakers

We visited New York City on Fathers Day to make a professional turntable purchase at The Turntable Lab (TTL).  They are located in the East Village on 84 East 10th Street. My son and I are solid fans of this unique seller that primarily markets to the DJ crowd. I have purchased Record Store Day hard to find recordings from their online store, which I’ll be spinning. Browse their Web site to get a perspective on the packaged turntable solutions they feature as well as their unique product mix. They also move plenty of turntables through Amazon.Com.

TTL is rated one of the world’s best record shops by The Vinyl Factory where my browser has been happily stuck of late. I intend to share what I have learned from The Vinyl Factory in a future post.

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Picture courtesy of The Vinyl Factory

You may have seen the recent Web article that SONY/Japan is adding dedicated record pressing production SONY’s vinyl Japanese products. What took people by surprise is SONY’s return to vinyl pressing after 28 years of shuttered plants. I respect the manufacturing analysis SONY reached that primarily pressing for themselves and next phase subcontracting production for other record companies can be a sustainable business. I’d prefer to see SONY open 1-2 U.S. plants as all the NA facilities can’t meet the manufacturing volume for output. That’s a great problem for the music industry to have. The hundred-year-old vinyl LP record averages $30 at retail for a single 180-200 grade vinyl recording. At that price, I am forced to be selective about the limited amount of vinyl I can purchase per year. Vinyl collecting continues to grow at a steady rate and will reach the $1 billion annual sales target by the end of 2018 (if not before).

It feels great to hold a record jacket in my hands and be in concert with the artwork, design and extensive liner notes you can find included with some recordings.  I purchased Alice Coltrane’s record the day I bought my Audio Technica turntable. I wrote about WORLD SPIRITUALITY CLASSICS 1: THE ECSTATIC MUSIC OF ALICE COLTRANE TURIYASANGITANANDA in March. It’s next on my playlist and certain to add a warm spiritual healing to our home. Another reason I acquired the limited vinyl edition is to read Ashley Kahn’s liner notes. Ashley is a subject matter authority on John and Alice Coltrane. I have several of his books in my music library. He was a consultant to LuakaBop for this historic recording.

The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda

I have waited patiently within my soul for the spiritual music of Alice Coltrane to become available. As a firm believer in spirituality and the healing power of music these recordings resonate to the foundation of my beliefs.

“…If we put one fourth of the time into trying to understand our spirituality that we put into wanting to grow more wealthy, we would find some of the incredible things occurring in our universe that we need to be aware of…”

Alice Coltrane’s devotion to spirituality was the central purpose of the final four decades of her life, an often-overlooked awakening that largely took shape during her four-year marriage to John Coltrane and after his 1967 death. By 1983, Alice had established the 48- acre Sai Anantam Ashram outside of Los Angeles. She quietly began recording music from the ashram, releasing it within her spiritual community in the form of private press cassette tapes. On May 5th, the record label Luaka Bop, founded by David Byrne, will release the first-ever compilation of recordings from this period, making these songs available to the wider public for the first time. Entitled World Spirituality Classics, Volume 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda’, the release is the first installment in a planned series of spiritual music from around the globe; curated, compiled and distributed by Luaka Bop.

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This powerful, largely unheard body of work finds Alice singing for the first time in her recorded catalog, which dates back to 1963 and includes appearances on six John Coltrane albums, alongside Charlie Haden and McCoy Tyner, and 14 albums as bandleader starting with her Impulse! debut in 1967 with ‘A Monastic Trio.’ The songs featured on the Luaka Bop release have been culled from the four cassettes that Alice recorded and released between 1982 and 1995: ‘Turiya Sings,’ ‘Divine Songs,’ ‘Infinite Chants,’ and ‘Glorious Chants.’ The digital, cassette and CD release will feature eight songs. The double-vinyl edition features two additional songs, “Krishna Japaye” from 1990’s ‘Infinite Chants, and the previously unreleased “Rama Katha” from a separate ‘Turiya Sings’ recording session.

Luaka Bop teamed with Alice’s children to find the original master tapes in the Coltrane archive. The recordings were prepared for re-mastering by the legendary engineer Baker Bigsby (Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra, John Coltrane), who had overseen the original sessions in the 80s and 90s. The compilation showcases a diverse array of recordings in addition to Alice’s first vocal work: solo performances on her harp, small ensembles, and a 24-piece vocal choir. The release is dotted with eastern percussion, synthesizers, organs and strings, making for a mesmerizing, even otherworldly, listen. Alice was inspired by Vedic devotional songs from India and Nepal, adding her own music sensibility to the mix with original melodies and sophisticated song structures. She never lost her ability to draw from the bebop, blues and old-time spirituals of her Detroit youth, fusing a Western upbringing with Eastern classicism. In all, these recordings amount to a largely untold chapter in the life story of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda.

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In addition to the recordings, GRAMMY-winning music historian Ashley Kahn has written extensive liner notes for the collection. The package also includes a series of interviews with those who knew Alice best, conducted by Dublab’s Mark “Frosty” McNeill, and an as-told-to interview between musician Surya Botofasina (who was raised on Alice’s ashram) and journalist Andy Beta. 2017 marks what would have been Alice’s 80th year of life, as well as the 10th anniversary of her passing. Alice will be celebrated at events throughout the United States, Europe and South America in the coming year. With this in mind, the time is right to bring this meaningful piece of Turiyasangitananda’s legacy into focus.

Track Listing

1. Om Rama*
2. Om Shanti
3. Rama Rama
4. Rama Guru
5. Hari Narayan
6. Journey to Satchidananda**
7. Er Ra
8. Keshava Murahara
9. Krishna Japaye
10. Rama Katha

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