The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

1369 reasons why jazz is more than music

In the prologue of Invisible Man, the narrator seeks light in his darkness by iluminating his hole with 1369 light bulbs.  The number is a tribute the the year 1936. 


That was when he moved to New York City and met a number of influential people during this time of the Harlem Renaissance.  Most notably, jazz poet, Langston Hughes.

Jazz Poetry began as a way to speak of jazz music and its musicians but Langston and others soon realized that it could be jazz…that jazz was more than music.  Making use of syncopation, repetition and the blues they gave birth to a new way of doing poetry…a jazz way.


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John Frye

posted August 9, 2006 at 7:48 am

Jazz Theo,
So would you say that jazz being music, but more than music is a “language”? As poetry is a language?
Jesus was a poet as well as prophet. I think Jesus was deeply into jazz. You think so?

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Ted Gossard

posted August 10, 2006 at 10:21 pm

Jazz theo,
I want to learn so much more about jazz and your point here and elsewhere. I think it is so valid.
I have loved some of the jazz I’ve heard. Have just a little here at home. But want to add to my collection. And above all to understand the gift it is, and how it mirrors the gift of life in God.
Thanks brother.

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posted August 10, 2006 at 11:57 pm

Wynton Marsalis says that jazz is a language, other’s say a culture or set of principles. I think that all of these are helpful. When I compare it too classical it see it this way…
Classical faith gives us a world view.
Jazz faith gives us a way of viewing the world.

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posted August 11, 2006 at 12:00 am

Listening to the music and the stories is so helpful…building a collection a blast and will break the bank at the same time!
thanks for the encouragement…

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John Frye

posted August 19, 2006 at 8:37 am

Jazz Theo,
A friend of mine, Max Colley III, a jazz trumpeter, took me to hear Wynton M and his band when they were in Ann Arbor, MI. Great music–they did a tribute to Duke Ellington. I got to meet Wynton and some others in the band.
Thanks for the angle—“jazz faith is a way of viewing the world.”

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