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***Transcendence is ALICE COLTRANE's most successful vocal album. Side two is especially mind-twisting for its use of surprisingly funky Hindu chants accompanied by Alice's organ and the Indian percussion of the singers. Purists might balk at calling Hare Krishna filtered through a gospel sensibility "jazz," but they're too busy arguing about Ken Burns' documentary to worry about Alice Coltrane reissues anyway. This is probably the most "swinging" Alice Coltrane material since Ptah The El Daoud. Music runs in Alice Coltrane's family; her older brother, bassist Ernie Farrow, played in the '50s and '60s bands of Barry Harris, Stan Getz, Terry Gibbs and, most notably, Yusef Lateef. Alice McLeod began studying classical music at the age of seven. She attended Detroit's Cass Technical High School with pianist Hugh Lawson and drummer Earl Williams. As a young woman she played in church, and in Lateef's and Kenny Burrell's bands, eventually traveling to Paris in 1959 to study with Bud Powell. She met John Coltrane while touring and recording with Gibbs in the early '60s, married the saxophonist in 1965, and joined his band - replacing McCoy Tyner - a year later. She stayed with John's band until his death in 1967, and subsequently formed her own bands with players such as Pharoah Sanders, Joe Henderson, Frank Lowe, Carlos Ward, Rashied Ali and Jimmy Garrison. Coltrane moved to California in 1972. She became increasingly concerned with spiritual matters, founding a center for the study of Eastern religions in 1975. Following the recently restored Transfiguration, Sepia-Tone is pleased to offer two more gems from Ms. Coltrane's discography. *Epic 4-page interview with/salute to/cover feature on Alice in the current issue of THE WIRE.