The Jazzcat

Alice Coltrane and Dwight Trible at Royce Hall part 2

by on Feb.19, 2006, under News


Flowers always grace the stage whenever Alice performs. Bright colorful satin and

chiffon fabrics are the linens that drape the instrument. Her body, her mind

and her organ all represent what we come to know as the spirit of this dynamic

woman. Beautiful colors of a mother, a spiritual leader and a peaceful purveyor

of music for the soul, heart and mind.


The prodigal comes out on stage to introduce his mother and

the rest of the band. Ravi Coltrane speaks of his memories of Royce Hall as a

child watching his mother perform. The “Tainish One”, Jeff Watts, could not

make the performance, but was replaced by Trevor Lawrence, one of our young

Angelenos that has chosen the right gig to make his appearance back on the

scene. Ravi also mentioned the disdain for one of Los Angeles’s weekly publications that made

some ill mannered irresponsible comparison of music icons and the art of their

surviving wives. There is no parallel. Truly, this is an unequivocal spiritual

encounter of the Coltrane kind.



relationship with McCoy must be a strong bond. Her light touch glides across and

caresses the eighty eight black and white individuals. Her first notes on the

piano were very reminiscent of a time some forty years ago and with Ravi’s lovely tone on soprano, the music transcends. I

have never had the pleasure of seeing or hearing Reggie Workman and it is truly

an honor. He is no less astounding than he was many years ago. So many

recordings with so many legends of the music make him a legend in his own

right. The music has left an everlasting imprint on his being that has been

instilled in him for life and we have the opportunity to experience that gift

like time travel.


Unfortunately, after the first tune, some rude member of the

audience yelled out, “The Drummer plays too loud!” This type of

incomprehensible behavior in a pristine setting such as Royce Hall has a

subconscious effect that the idiot could not possibly understand. It is like trampling

the garden of a little child just as the flowers that they planted for their

mother started to bloom. It is selfish and the psychology behind it leads one

to believe that this is a person that has no artistic worth but, knows all of

the statistics of what year, so-in-so 

played which solo on whose album thereby self-proclaiming, to one of his

many first dates, to have some knowledge of jazz music. When in actuality, they

are lonely, miserable self loathing creatures in search of attention and stuck

vicariously living their forgotten dreams of musical accomplishments through

the lives of other talents. An interruption that everyone at Royce felt.


 However, the integrity

of the music remains unscathed and the historic implication of John Coltrane’s

legacy prevails. How can you live with a man and not inherit his soul, his peace,

his mind, his creativity, his thoughts and his love for music? You cannot. It

is Coltrane love that is abundantly present tonight on the stage and in the air

that we breathe. Ravi is wonderful to watch.

The resemblance of sight and sound are evident of the birth right, but unique

in the respect of individuality.



is not a show stealer. Her grace is a constant continuum of precious patience

to reach the goal. There is a message and not just the attainment of a

pleasurable evening of music. It is much more. It is a lesson, away of life,

love and spirit.  Live it, breathe it and

become one with love and the almighty.


She switches to the organ, castles rise up to the clouds and

the sounds of the east prevail. The sound of her organ is uniquely spiritual

not in the way of traditional church, but in an individual approach to the

spiritual path of greatness. Alice

is also a Coltrane conduit. You can see the power of the universe emanate

through her being and through every note she plays guided through a higher

source. Music is a language and this language speaks of love, healing and the

unification of all of God’s children. I think she is praying for our souls. The

music is like a roundtable of love where each musician individually says a

prayer to bless us.


From the piano, to the organ, to the harpsichord sound on

the Korg synthesizer, Alice

encompasses a virtual arsenal of sound and blessings of love. The audible

pictures are of green pastures and blue skies with food and shelter for

everyone. A promise land. If the music spoke it may sound something like…


Bless them lord, for

many of them know not what they do, but they are all loved just the same. Heal

their hearts and souls. Teach them to be kind to one another and appreciate

your earth. For this is what I pray oh Lord, this is what I pray.


This year will mark the 80th birthday of the

memory of John Coltrane. As a tribute, Alice, Ravi, Reggie and Trevor performed a medley of his music

with a gigantic picture of him looming in the background.

“A Love Supreme”



LeRoy Downs

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