Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Today's music read: Red Bull on Alice Coltrane

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2016 at 4:26 PM

  • Photo courtesy Impulse Records.

Jazz genius Alice Coltrane was born Alice McLeod in Detroit in 1937. She grew up on the east side; her family was deeply religious and highly musical. They directed the choirs at the Mount Olive Baptist Church, where Alice also performed piano and sang.

As a teenager, she studied music at Cass Tech, where a teacher named Velma Froude introduced her to the harp — an instrument that remained a very important part of her music throughout her career. Unlike fellow Detroiter Dorothy Ashby, who also studied harp with Froude, it wasn't her only instrument, as she continued to also play piano and vibraphone.

Thanks in part to a spate of recent reissues, music fans increasingly view her music as possessing the same magical, spiritual power as that of her husband, John, with whom she collaborated on recordings and in concert.

We were reminded of how forward-thinking Alice Coltrane's music remains by Britt Robson's thoroughly researched piece celebrating her music, published at the Red Bull Music Academy site today. It's what we call a "long read" these days.

It's strange that some of the best music writing in the last few years has been funded by such an interesting-tasting energy beverage. But the world is weird now, and the Red Bull folks keep surprising us with quality work. And we can think of worse corporate bosses to have; who doesn't like sugar, caffeine, and bubbles?

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation