Doing the important work of exposing Alice Coltranes music to the indie-rock masses.
Doing the important work of exposing Alice Coltrane's music to the indie-rock masses. Trouble in Mind Records

Sunwatchers, "Ptah, the El Daoud" (Trouble in Mind)

Along with groups such as Horse Lords, Guardian Alien, and Zs, Sunwatchers are bringing an ecstatic, irrepressible energy to rock, jazz, and minimalism. (The band includes current and former members of NYMPH, Dark Meat, Chris Forsyth’s Solar Motel Band, and Arthur Doyle’s New Quiet Screamers.) Sunwatchers' new album, Illegal Moves, represents the New York band's strongest statement to date, its seven tracks generating inspirational riffs that ascend with an steadfastness that sounds and feels revolutionary. That they cover a composition by astral-jazz immortal Alice Coltrane on the record reflects not only impeccable taste, but also an astonishing bravado simply to tread on such sacred sonic ground.

This cover of the title track from Coltrane's 1970 LP, Ptah, the El Daoud, halves the running time, but bears the increased aural density and intensity you'd expect from a hungry, 21st-century indie outfit. They bulk up the majestic melody, with the guitars amassing a vaguely Middle Eastern tonality as translated by American underground-rock legends such as Sun City Girls and Savage Republic. The saxophonist comes close to replicating the grandeur of the original version's Pharoah Sanders and Joe Henderson, two of that instrument's most soulful practitioners. Luckily for Seattle, we can experience Sunwatchers live, as they perform Wednesday, March 20, at Southgate Roller Rink, with Mega Bog, Drama Bahama, and Swamp Meat.