Tuesday, August 22, 2006

JESUS AND JAZZ







Have you ever visited Jazz Theologian's website?

He has some provocative comments and observations.

My question is: If Jesus were alive today in his first incarnation (as he was in Galilee and Judea), what kind of music would Jesus listen to?

Jazz Theo has convinced me that Jesus would be deeply into jazz.

Jazz is a language, not just a music style. It's a langauge of pain and hope; of darkness and light; of people refusing to give up or give in to the powers that be. Jazz is promise.

Jazz Theo likes to use jazz as a metaphor for the Christian faith. He wrote...

"Classical faith gives you a world view."

"Jazz faith gives you a way of viewing the world."

Thanks, Jazz Theologian.

I think Jesus came into a world of classical faith. This is THE music of life, he was told. Sing it like this and only like this. And I think Jesus introduced "jazz faith." And down-and-out people said, "He's talkin' my talk. He livin' my life. I like his song. I like his music."

W.M.W.J.L.? The answer? JAZZ.

[the picture above is from Calvin College's Jazz Vesper's CD cover titled "Jazz Psalms"]

21 Comments:

At 8/22/2006 2:24 PM, Blogger Buddy said...

I always thought Jesus would be into punk rock. Not Green Day or Blink 182, but The Clash and maybe The Sex Pistols. Punk's language of revolution and subversion of authority seem right up Jesus' alley.

 
At 8/22/2006 4:16 PM, Blogger John Frye said...

Buddy,
You got me,man. Maybe Jesus would like punk rock. Is that a "language" too?

 
At 8/22/2006 5:21 PM, Blogger Ted Gossard said...

John,
Yeah. I've read some pretty interesting and compelling thoughts from Jazz Theo.

I'd like to get hold of that lingo. Really don't have much on it. But want to learn. (Have heard some jazz I really thought was moving) Jesus and jazz. Why not?

Thanks.

 
At 8/23/2006 5:34 AM, Anonymous Susan said...

I'm not so sure Jesus would be "into" any one kind of music, in particular, since he was more interested in people than in cultural idiosyncrasies. Styles of music are neither here nor there but the people who listen to all the wonderful and different styles of music there are... I'll bet he'd be very interested in them !

 
At 8/23/2006 7:21 AM, Blogger sacred vapor said...

John,
I've had the opportunity to study and play Jazz in my earlier years (jazz bassist) and find myself always making analogies of my jazz experiences and the Christian faith.

Even from a community perspective, there is a lot that can be learned from the dymanics within a jazz band -- the trust, respect, selflessness, support, freedom to express, etc...

vapor

 
At 8/23/2006 8:21 AM, Blogger John Frye said...

Ted,
I'm glad to hear of your interest in jazz. It is an intriguing kind of music isn't it?

 
At 8/23/2006 8:22 AM, Blogger John Frye said...

Susan,
My friend, let's go artistic brain for a moment, not analytical brain and have some fun...surely Jesus would really like jazz...y'think?

 
At 8/23/2006 8:24 AM, Blogger John Frye said...

Sacred Vapor,
There you go...you're a jazz artist and veteran...I like what you have to say.

Susan, what do you think of 'Sacred Vapor's' reflections about jazz and life?

 
At 8/23/2006 9:04 AM, Blogger Lukas McKnight said...

Jesus would love Wynton Marsalis. It's hard not to appreciate what he does.

 
At 8/23/2006 10:35 AM, Blogger John Frye said...

lukas,
I agree with you. Wynton is great and I got to meet him through a friend Max Colley III.

 
At 8/23/2006 10:51 AM, Anonymous Susan said...

Sorry! I'm gearing up for classes starting Monday. I already have the brain in overdrive I guess... How about this:

I suspect that if Jerusalem had hot Jazz in Jesus' day, he'd have interpreted the Scriptures to the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, using Jazz metaphors. And the Parable of the Talents would have been told with M. Davis, T. Monk, and Kenny G (as the one who buried his talent, of course).

and Luke 16:22-24 would read,

“The time came when the Jazz man died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The junk pop artist also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with John Coltrane by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send John to play "A Love Supreme" because I am in agony in this fire.’

 
At 8/23/2006 10:52 AM, Blogger sacred vapor said...

Tim Keller and jazz bassist John Coltrane did an open forum lecture and discussion on Coltrane's music... also lots of talk about jazz and christianity (April 9th, 2006).

It's worth the $2.50 to download the MP3.

Work and Grace (Tim Keller) / The Spiritual Music of John Coltrane (John Patitucci)

first link on this page:
http://sermons.redeemer.com/store/index.cfm?currentpage=2&fuseaction=category.display&category_id=6&sort=DateNew&CFID=186787&CFTOKEN=21189629

 
At 8/23/2006 10:54 AM, Blogger sacred vapor said...

not sure if that link works, but if interested, just go to Redeemer's store site --
http://www.redeemer3.com

and search for individual sermon on the date mentioned in previous comment

 
At 8/23/2006 12:31 PM, Blogger sacred vapor said...

ok, I mistyped again... the first comment stated:
"Tim Keller and jazz bassist John Coltrane did an open forum" I meant to write "Tim Keller and jazz bassist John Patitucci did an open forum"

If John Coltrane did a presentation in 2006, that would have been impressive.

 
At 8/23/2006 5:15 PM, Blogger John Frye said...

Susan,
Right on! You are an artistic theologian-philosopher...and they are rare. Great stuff!

 
At 8/23/2006 5:16 PM, Blogger John Frye said...

Sacred Vapor,
Thanks for the links. I appreciate you making me aware of them.

 
At 8/23/2006 8:41 PM, Blogger jazztheo said...

John,

nice conversation over here and thanks for the props.

jt

 
At 8/24/2006 4:44 AM, Blogger John Frye said...

Jazz Theo,
I appreciate your blog and enjoy your posts. Thanks for stopping by.

 
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