Sunday, June 14, 1998

Ravi Shankar and Ravi Coltrane Quintet with Alice Coltrane - New York, NY - 1998-06-14

Ravi Shankar supported by Ravi Coltrane Quintet with Alice Coltrane at Town Hall in New York, NY on June 14, 1998.

This is one of those shows I feel so lucky to have seen...there is a site called Jazz Supreme which has a nice write-up of the show I would like to excerpt here:
"On June 14, 1998, Alice Coltrane emerged from retirement to play in the grand finale concert of the 1998 Texaco Jazz Festival at New York City's Town Hall. She appeared as a guest of her son, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, who was sharing the bill with legendary Indian musician Ravi Shankar...Ravi Coltrane brought along a quintet: bass, drums, piano, trumpet. He played two tunes from his new album...Everybody clears the stage 'cept Ravi and out comes mom Alice. She's dressed in a fiery gold-trimmed orange sari, and both say a few words...They play two duets, he on soprano or tenor sax, she on piano...The first number was John Coltrane's "Crescent". Second was a tune dedicated to Alice's new guru, Satya Sai Baba. Both were beautiful, and Alice's piano playing was absolutely wonderful, and the ghost of dad John fairly conjured up. It was interesting to me how her playing filled the room when the other player's playing had not....perhaps it was the absence of drums, perhaps it was her own power. Her playing was deeply spiritual. The band returns, the trumpet with a mute, Alice switches to the organ to make room for the piano's the died and gone to heaven part. They play the first movement from A Love Supreme. Alice takes a killer--repeat, killer--solo on organ. I wanted the whole thing to go on and on...Her organ playing is unlike anything I've ever heard before: forceful, spiritual, intense; a far cry from the soul-jazz the instrument is known for...The remainder of the concert featured Ravi Shankar, after whom John and Alice had named their son...and no, the fantasized about two-Ravi-two-Coltrane jam didn't happen...A very interesting set though...It was Ravi and his daughter on sitars, a tabla player, two women playing different tambouras, and a guy whose job seemed to be to just sit there looking pretty...They played maybe 3 or four tunes. From my vantage point in a corner of the balcony I had the treat of being able to see Ravi and Alice sitting off to the side peeking out through the curtains and grooving at the whole thing..."

Coltrane's band was made up of:

Ravi Coltrane - tenor and soprano sax
Ralph Alessi - trumpet
Michael Cain - piano
Lonnie Plaxico - bass
Jeff "Tain" Watts - drums
Alice Coltrane - organ

I don't know who all of Ravi Shankar's musicians were other than:

Ravi Shankar - sitar
Anoushka Shankar - sitar
Sri Arup Chattopadhyay - tablas

I do have both sets available for download. If you have a program or advert for the show - or any other momentos from that night for that matter - please let me know.


Ravi Coltrane Quintet with Alice Coltrane at Town Hall in New York, NY on June 14, 1998 - download here

Ravi Shankar at Town Hall in New York, NY on June 14, 1998 - download here.