Impulse! is releasing a virtually unreleased work by the legendary and late jazz godmother Alice Coltrane, a 1981 recording titled Kirtan: Turiya Sings. The album, to be released on 16 July 2021 as part of the historic label's 60th anniversary celebrations, comprises nine devotional songs originally released in 1982 only on cassette for ashram students. In addition to Alice's voice and instrument, those recordings included parts for synthesizer, strings and effects. In 2004, Alice's son (and producer of this album) Ravi Coltrane rediscovered the voice and organ versions of these sessions. In this version I found at the highest level his passion, his devotion, his ecstasy in singing these praises to the Supreme. At that point I realised that this was the way the audience should listen to Turiya Sings. As her son, who grew up listening to her play these pieces on the same Wurlitzer that you can hear on the recording, I realised that this choice would preserve the purity and essence of Alice's musical and spiritual vision.
For many reasons, this essentiality succeeds in elevating the songs even further. On this album, you will find yourself tuned in to blues, gospel, black American church music, fused with the Carnatic style of singing from South India. But there are also the complex Motown harmonies of native Detroit, as well as bebop roots, the impact of John Coltrane's music and the influence of European classical music - especially the beloved Igor Stravinsky. But, at the same time, this is music that serves a purpose: with love and enlightenment, to pray to the names of the Supreme. On this album, your spirit and heart will turn to the divine with inspiration and gratitude. - Ravi Coltrane