Spiritual Jazz Essentials
In the mid-'60s, a small group of jazz musicians reacted to sociopolitical turbulence with a yearning for transcendence, embracing various strains of spirituality. John Coltrane's “A Love Supreme” offered a musical salute to the divine, while Albert Ayler had a rugged take on gospel (“Love Cry”). Others turned their focus abroad, with pianist Randy Weston embracing the trance grooves of Morocco's Gnawan people (“Marrakech Blues”) and Alice Coltrane adapting Indian raga (“Journey into Satchidananda”). The movement faded in the ‘70s, but four decades later L.A.'s Kamasi Washington brought it back in response to a consumerist cultural landscape.