Alice Coltrane - Lord Of Lords LP


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Label: Elemental

Released in 1973, Lord of Lords was Alice Coltrane's final album for the Impulse! label, as well as the last installment of a trilogy that began with Universal Consciousness and World Galaxy. Like its two predecessors, Lord of Lords features a 16-piece string orchestra that the leader arranged and conducted, fronted by a trio in which she plays piano, Wurlitzer organ, harp, and timpani accompanied by bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Ben Riley.

The original producer, Ed Michel, later stated that Coltrane worked with the top-rank classically-trained studio musicians of the string section and "opened them up so they could do absolutely astonishing things. Afterwards, the string players couldn't believe that they had done what they had done." According to AllMusic reviewer Thom Jurek, "The interplay between the three principals is lively and engaging, based on droning blues chords, and her soloing - even amid flurries of notes - comes right back to the root. Haden's bass is a beautiful anchor here, and the strings offer a lovely response to her organ and harp. Riley's cymbals are shimmering shards of light throughout, ending Lord of Lords on a very high note. She succeeds here, in ending her Impulse! period with elegance, grace, and soul."