Monday, June 15, 2009

God and Jazz

Yay! The sun is still out. I am sitting in the study listening to albums by The Bad Plus courtesy of Spotify. This is in part to try to understand what my dear old Dad sees in them, but also trying to prepare myself to see them play live on the Soth Bank on Saturday night. It will be 2nd time I have caught them live.

So far they seem to me to be the sort of band that break all the musical rules and yet in another way they very much play by them. On the one hand they break all the rules - in the sense that they transgress the confines of what might be considered 'jazz' and break into other musical genres - classical through to alternative and everything in between. And yet, they maintain that great jazz tradition of steppig outside the box and taking influences from all sorts of musical styles. They also conform to the rules in the sense that as a live outfit they do something and go somewhere else, yet recorded - they come across a bit clinical and angular...

I am finding that I am turning into my Dad in so many ways, and musically we seem to be meeting in the middle more and more. I am finally 'getting' jazz in a big way. I have been exposed to it all my life so it was innevitable I suppose! For me (he says that!!!), I find the free form nature of the music a spiritul thing.

John Coltrane understood the link between jazz and God. His 'A Love Supreme' is offered, as indicated by the liner notes, which Coltrane penned, is spiritually informed, a prayer offered to God. Similarly so, with the late great Erroll Garner.

Jazz reminds me of God is some ways. It can be hard to understand. Hard to fathom, with the main players often doing different and yet complementary things in a song. And yet, when you step back and experience the music as a whole... I find it so easy to get caught up in the moment and emotion of what is happening. It's almost organic.

It's like that with God. Sometimes hard to fathom, with the church and the Holy Spirit sometimes seemingly pulling in different directions (women bishops anyone?), and yet when we step back and experience God for ourselves, let our gaurd down and stop trying to make sense of Him, we can get caught up in the duet that God longs to sing and play with us. It is organic. Just the way he intended.

No comments: