They call it "Inner Jazz." The subtitle is "Exploring the Landscape of the Soul Through the Transformative Spirit of Jazz."
It's the Jazz thing that caught my eye. It's the Inner thing that promised to add a new dimension to the proceedings. Maybe I'm just looking for more meaning of life as the months pass all too rapidly. As Maggie Smith said, when asked how it felt to be 78, "Every meal is breakfast." The email came from Carol Beth True, superb jazz pianist, teacher and friend. She was going to be part of a jazz thing at Kirkwood United Church of Christ in Kirkwood. I made a note in my calendar. Five o'clock on a Sunday is usually wide open for me. That's four hours before Mad Men and Game of Thrones come on. And with DVR, it doesn't really matter anyway, except for the ritual. Probably a throwback to "the old days" when Thursday night was Star Trek Night, Tuesday night was Dick Van Dyke night, etc. Okay, I'll go back to Sunday night being Jack Benny night on the radio. Remember radio?
Sunday afternoon church is foreign to me. In fact, church anytime is. To say it's not even on my radar screen is an understatement. Still, the confluence of jazz and some sort of soul searching sounded appealing. I went. I listened. I let my thoughts wander. The music reached deep, starting off with "Equinox" by John Coltrane and some fine tenor sax work by Cliff Aerie. The program progressed with original tunes by him and fine solo work by Carol Beth and Cliff and Dave Troncoso on bass, Kevin Gianino contributing some very tasty work on drums. Plus a young vocalist named Arianna Aerie adding her sterling voice that delicately filled the church. The last tune was one of my favorites, "Afro Blue" by Mongo Santamaria.
There's something about "live" jazz in a church that I find very moving. Especially when coupled with a message about Our Earth.
According to the Reverend Betsy Happel, this mingling of jazz and meditation will continue once a month. I'll probably be back there next month. A different jazz group will perform. But the spirit will be the same. The program they handed out contained several quotes, two of which I especially like and repeat here.
John Muir: "When you tug at a single thing in nature, you find it attached to the rest of the world."
Buddha: "To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one's own in the midst of abundance."
Sometimes you just have to stop and listen.