Sunday, November 14, 2010

'Ptah The El Daoud' by Alice Coltrane

     I have always loved Alice Coltrane's second offering, "Ptah The El Daoud" because it personified pressure to me.  Gut-feelings and nudges translated into sound.  Listening to this album, I feel as if I'm caught in a predicament!  Once I hit the play button, the tree limbs begin to sway suspiciously and my intuition begins to whisper.

     The opening track, 'Ptah the El Daoud,' has always sounded meteorological to me.  On piano, the bandleader, Alice Coltrane creates an atmosphere of caution.  Drummer, Ben Riley, imitates the thunder swelling within the thick skies.  Giving Pharaoh Sanders my right ear and Joe Henderson my left, the horn section becomes as dense as the humid air before a storm cracks open.
     The second piece, 'Turiya and Ramakrishna,' is all about escalation.  Temperature subtly rising, logic softly dissolving in the warm water of desire.  The key changes flirtatiously, as if the seduction was taken up another notch.  The perfect chaser, the spacious 'Blue Nile' comes in third with soft horns and dreamy glissando from Alice's harp. Trickling.  Tickling.  Titillating.
     The storm finally hits with the final track, "Mantra".  It takes me back to watching a tornado as a child and being both amazed and scared by its power.  Giant trees bending and bouncing like the catail grass... Typically grounded objects floating in mid-air in slow motion...  Mesmerizing.  Frightening. Spellbinding.  Weathering a storm is, indeed, a beautiful experience.

Please listen for yourself!
I'd love to hear what you guys think of