Alice Coltrane and Carlos Santana – Illuminations (1974) [Reissue 2017]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 35:47 minutes | Scans included | 1,58 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans incl. | 720 MB
Features Stereo and Quadrophonic Surround Sound | Label: Vocalion # CDSML 8530
Illuminations is a 1974 collaboration between Alice Coltrane and Carlos Santana. For his third duet album, Carlos Santana performed the works of John Coltrane, paired with Coltrane’s widow, harpist/keyboardist Alice Coltrane, on this instrumental album. Side One includes several contemplative, string-filled numbers, while Side Two presents Santana’s re-creation of John Coltrane’s late free jazz style in “Angel of Sunlight.” Columbia Records could not have been pleased at Santana’s determined drift into esoteric jazz: Illuminations was the first of the nine Santana-related albums so far released in the U.S. not to go gold.
Jazz musicians Jules Broussard, Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland also contributed to the record, on saxophone, flute, drums and bass. Alice Coltrane delivers some harp glissando, while the string orchestra adds a serene mood to the music. Carlos Santana (whose Indian name “Devadip” appears on the sleeve) plays electric guitar in his own fashion, utilizing feedback, long notes and simple melodies, letting much space to the other instruments. The album is conceived as an instrumental jazz album, with lengthy solos on guitar, saxophone and keyboards. The introduction to “Angel of Air”, with its violins, has been sampled by the Cinematic Orchestra. It is his first of three solo albums (the others being Oneness and The Swing of Delight) to be released under his temporary Sanskrit name Devadip Carlos Santana, given to him by Sri Chinmoy.
Alice Coltrane and Carlos Santana’s collaboration Illuminations positively glows on this SACD reissue. Engineer Michael Dutton’s peerless remastering of the quad mix is simply breathtaking. The extra depth found in the swirling string sections, Coltrane’s piano and harp and Santana’s stratospheric, sustained notes imbues this album with a whole new level of glittering detail. The racing turbulence of Angel Of Sunlight, in which a full band, propelled by Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette’s rhythm section, appeared somewhat earthbound and compressed in the original mix. Here, however the spatial placement of instruments reveals previously obscured elements of the score and interplay that’s nothing short of a revelation as the entire ensemble take flight on their way to spiritual bliss.
01. Guru Sri Chinmoy Aphorism
02. Angel of Air Angel of Water
03. Bliss The Eternal Now
04. Angel of Sunlight
Remastered from the Original Master tapes by Michael J. Dutton.