Breaking free and seeking a new, transcendent language for music, spiritual jazz arose under the umbrella of free jazz amidst the civil rights era of the 1960s. Lead by incredible players like John & Alice Coltrane, Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Lonnie Liston Smith and many others. This music created melodies incorporating elements from Indian classical music and the Far East, mysticism, and more textured arrangements with uncommon instrumentation such as tablas, tambura and harps. Philosophy of the World presents a primer on this unique brand of jazz that sought the sacred.


1. John Coltrane – “Welcome” from Kulu Se Mama

2. Lonnie Liston Smith & the Cosmic Echoes – “Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord” from Astral Traveling

3. Alice Coltrane – “Journey in Satchidananda” from Journey in Satchidananda

4. Pharoah Sanders – “Astral Traveling” from Thembi

5. Bennie Maupin – “Ensenada” from The Jewel in the Lotus

6. Leon Thomas – “The Creator Has a Master Plan” from Spirits Known and Unknown

7. Michael White – “The Blessing Song” from Pneuma

8. Don Cherry – “Love Train” from Eternal Now

9. Joe Henderson & Alice Coltrane – “Water” from The Elements

10. Sonny Sharrock – “Black Woman” from Black Woman


Companion Material
The House that Trane Built by Ashley Kahn
Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary
NTS Radio Black Classical: History of Spiritual Jazz Parts 1-4
Pitchfork’s Spiritual Jazz Primer

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