Devadip Carlos Santana & Turiya Alice Coltrane: Bliss: The Eternal Now
Bliss: The Eternal Now
Illuminations (Columbia 483810 2)
Composed and string arrangement by Turiya Alice Coltrane.
Recorded: unknown date; released September 1974
Rating: 87/100 (learn more)
The partnership of John Coltrane's widow, Alice, and Carlos Santana produced the mostly wonderful Illuminations. The album is as spiritual as symphonic jazz-rock can get without crossing over into the actual beyond. Santana was lucky enough to have a successful pop career for Columbia Records. One doubts that, had it been otherwise, the company would have been all that pleased with the guitarist and his new fusion direction.
"Bliss: The Eternal Now" is more of a cosmic mood piece than a fully realized tune. Its main mantra, presented in front of a resonating string section, is all of 5 or 6 notes repeated in various shapes and sizes. But Santana makes his notes cry. Coltrane's lush harp and occasional piano runs add celestial texture. This is a successful entry in the Orchestra Meets Jazz-Rock Sweepstakes in which the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return to Forever were also running at this time.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky