In House #1785: Music in the Spirit of MLK; Alice Coltrane, 1937-2007
The week starts off with something a little different as we offer up a selection of music celebrating the spirit and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (also, food for thought here). One can hardly overestimate the important role that music played in the cause of the civil rights movement, whether it was coming from the church pews, the street marches or, thanks to voices as diverse as Marvin Gaye and Simon & Garfunkel, the pop mainstream. Indeed, whether it was Sam Cooke veiling pleas for racial harmony within the context of a lovesong, or John Coltrane capturing the chaos of the turbulent times with an unsettling composition, popular music was and always has been an echo, if not a component, of the civil rights movement.
Also today, music from Alice Coltrane, who died over the weekend at the age of sixty-nine. Aside from being married to the finest saxophonist in the history of jazz, Coltrane was an outstanding musician and composer in her own right. After replacing McCoy Tyner in her husband's band in 1966, she later formed her own bands with the likes of Pharaoh Sanders, Jimmy Garrison and others, releasing her final effort Translinear Light in 2004, produced by her son Ravi. Not unlike her husband's late work, her recordings are characterized by an impassioned spiritual searching, an unflinching journey inward, outward, and back again.
In House #1785.
Focus: Music celebrating the spirit and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. featuring Nina Simone, the Holmes Brothers, Marvin Gaye, Odetta, Blind Boys of Alabama, and more. Plus, Alice Coltrane remembered.
Nina Simone: "Mississippi Goddamn (MLK Suite, Part 3)" (MP3)
Freedom Singers: "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn You Round" (MP3)
In House PODCAST #239