A couple years ago, back when people went outside and I went to festivals. I was outside and I went to a festival. Coachella, to be exact. With The Boy. The best thing about having kids early is HAVING GROWN KIDS. Please don’t let anybody tell you different. ANYWAY. We went to Coachella and you guys, EYE was in charge of stuff! Which if you know me at all, you know you should be amazed because that meant that I made DECISIONS and PLANNED THINGS. I wanted to have all the big stuff out of the way (lodging, food, DID I PACK THAT THING I WAS MAYBE NOT GOING TO NEED, BUT MAYBE I WAS?) so that I could spend Coachella the way you are supposed to spend Coachella: Not Sober™. AND. AND I also managed to not get (too) lost because honestly I get distracted by shiny things and things that look interesting but also I still managed to lose everyone ordering food and PLEASE NOTE: it really takes a singular dedication to getting lost if you can do it while you’re standing in line ordering sweet potato fries (that were AMAZING, by the by). ALSO I only lost The Boy a couple times, but one of those times was definitely His Fault, but also he’s grown and he knew where the locker was and knew we’d end up there at the end of the night because he is truly his mother’s child. But this isn’t about a time he got lost it is about a time we were together!

So! I’m not sure where everyone else was, but Coachella had this Dome thing that had bean bag chairs and a digital show with Flying Lotus as the soundtrack and we decided to go to it. It was hot though because it was The Desert in April and while we were standing in line this girl in front of us overheated and passed out and this person who seemed to have medical training of some sort was standing next to us checked this girl out blah blah blah she was fine just needed some air, they took her into the Dome to cool off because it was air conditioned. Everyone is VERY IMPRESSED. There’s clapping and cheering and then he turned around and…y’all. That dudes pupils were as big as the moon. I don’t think Captain Save a Ho was sober. At all. But according to sources who were Not Me, that is the way you were intended to see this show. Tripping out on psychedelics while listening to experimental electronica of Alice Coltrane’s grand-nephew. Which is awesome because look at Flying Lotus following in the family business!

Alice McLeod grew up in a musical household. Her mother was a member of the church choir and her brother, Ernest Farrow was a jazz bassist. With the encouragement of her father, Alice McLeod pursued music and started performing around Detroit until she moved to Paris is the late 1950’s. There she studied classical music and jazz, where she worked as the intermission pianist at the Blue Note Jazz Club in the 60’s. It was there were she got hitched to Kenny “Pancho” Hagood, then divorced and moved back to Detroit with her daughter. She continued playing jazz as a professional with her own trio, and as a duo with vibraphonist Terry Pollard. In 1962-3, she played with Terry Gibbs’ quartet where she met some dude named John Coltrane*. Alice and John’s growing involvement in spirituality influenced some of John’s compositions and projects, such as A Love Supreme. In January 1966, Alice Coltrane replaced McCoy Tyner as pianist with John Coltrane’s group and subsequently recorded with him and continued playing with the band until John’s death on July 17, 1967. After her husband’s death, she continued to forward the musical and spiritual vision, and started to release records as a composer and bandleader. Her first album, A Monastic Trio, was recorded in 1967. From 1968 to 1977, she released thirteen full-length records. As the years passed, her musical direction moved further from standard jazz into the more cosmic, spiritual, psychedelic world.

The 1990’s saw a renewed interest in her work, which led to her return to the stage for three US appearances in the fall, including a concert at Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium presented by University Musical Society of the University of Michigan on September 23, which would have been John Coltrane’s 80th birthday, and culminating on November 4 with a concert for the San Francisco Jazz Festival with her son Ravi, drummer Roy Haynes, and bassist Charlie Haden.

Alice Coltrane died of respiratory failure at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center in suburban Los Angeles in 2007, aged 69 (nice!) She is buried alongside John Coltrane in Pinelawn Memorial Park, Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York.

Her music and legacy live on. Paul Weller dedicated his song “Song for Alice”, from his 2008 album 22 Dreams, to Coltrane; the track entitled “Alice” on Sunn O’s 2009 album Monoliths & Dimensions was similarly inspired. Electronic musician Flying Lotus is the grand-nephew of Alice Coltrane. The song “That Alice” on Laura Veirs’ album Warp and Weft is about Coltrane. Orange Cake Mix included a song entitled “Alice Coltrane” on their 1997 LP Silver Lining Underwater. Poet giovanni singleton’s book Ascension includes 49 poems written daily after Alice Coltrane’s death.

*I guess it’s worth mentioning that John Coltrane is also considered one of the inspirations for psychedelic rock. The Byrds’ “Eight Miles High” is often considered the first psych rock song. The group said that they loved his innovative playing including “all those funny little notes and fast stuff at the bottom of the range”. Apparently JOHN Coltrane inspired musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa and is sampled all over hip hop songs. And I think he also had a jazz following. I’m not really sure.