Wednesday, March 16, 2016

a love supreme starts to take shape and form...

One of the visceral joys of my life is playing music with Carlton, Charlie and Jon.. It is enhanced one hundred fold when Dianne, Jon, David, Eva, Elizabeth and Brian are part of the party, too. Today, the aforementioned jazz cats got together to run Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" and, for me, it was pure joy. Hard work - intense concentration - but unqualified joy as each distinctive part of this complex work started to fall into place. Layering sax and piano over bass (and drums) creates something magical for me; not only because the music itself is so beautiful, but also because I cherish the musicality of these artists - and love them profoundly as brothers. It is a rare privilege to play with artists who are not only ace performers, but soul men of compassion and humor.

We've worked together two other times since our return from sabbatical:  in November for "Missa Gaia" and in December for our jazz meditation on Christmas Eve. This coming Good Friday, March 25th @ 7 pm, my other favorite musicians (noted above) will be a part of the soiree as we share an evening of music dedicated to the paradox of God's grace. Using poetry by Auden, Shihab Nye and Levertov - music by Coltrane, Harrison and Heaton - as well as silence and a brief section of the St. Luke's Passion Narrative - we hope to evoke the mystery of God's love revealed in the Cross. Denise Levertov puts it like this in her poem "Incarnation."
It's when we face for a moment
the worst our kind can do, and shudder to know
the taint in our own selves, that awe
cracks the mind's shell and enters the heart:
not to a flower, not to a dolphin,
to no innocent form
but to this creature vainly sure
it and no other is god-like, God
(out of compassion for our ugly
failure to evolve) entrusts,
as guest, as brother,
the Word.
Each of my musical colleagues has been working on their respective parts for the past few months - 
but in private. Today we heard what it is going to sound like in collaboration. All I can write is: I CAN'T WAIT!

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