The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

Apprenticeships and Jam Sessions

Schluss_moonlight_jazz_1 Jazz community takes various forms.

Paul F. Berliner in his book, "Thinking In Jazz:  The Infinite Art of Improvisation," has this to say about community in the jazz tradition.

"For almost a century, the jazz community has functioned as a large educational system for producing, preserving, and transmitting musical knowledge, preparing students for the artistic demands of a jazz career through its particularized methods and forums."


In addition to formal institutional training and necessary musical lessons there are a number of Informal ways that fall under the category of "Hangin’ out and Jammin’" 

Apprenticeships:  Learning from each other.  Drummers hang out with drummers and horn players with horn players.  "Commonly, performers of the same instruments enjoy a special fraternity."  I wonder what it would be like to develop the spiritual giftings of people along this model. The goal of this kind of jazz community is to have peer to peer exchange with veterans and novices sharing together.


Jam Sessions:  "As essential to students as technical information and counsel is the understanding of jazz acquired directly through performance.  In part, they gain experience by participating in one of the most venerable of the community’s institutions, the jam session.  At these informal musical get-togethers, improvisers are free of the constraints that commercial engagements place upon repertory, length of performance, and the freedom to take artistic risk."

I’m working on what some of the corelations might by to the Christian life.  The concept of apprenticeships seems rather straight forward to me.  But what about jam sessions…do you have any thoughts as to how this concept might play itself out in Christian community?  Are there any equivalents to this in Jesus ministry?

Comments read comments(8)
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Wes Roberts

posted January 29, 2007 at 2:19 pm

…wow…you’ve emerged. Just curious…and grateful…but what brought that about?

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John L

posted January 31, 2007 at 12:34 am

Rob, the way I see it, Jesus is one non-stop improv from beginnning to end, with his trio, The Three. Always an ear towards each other, like all great soloists, never venturing too far from from the central idea.

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posted January 31, 2007 at 9:06 am

I began this blog at first to work out some thoughts with some sense of anonymity. As time as past, I found that what I was losing was authenticity. Secrecy, allows one to not fully be themselves. That’s a short answer on the personal side of things.
In addition, I’m planning on using these concepts in a more public way now in my real life and so it was time to merge my real life with my virtual life.
When are we going to do lunch or coffee or something?

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posted January 31, 2007 at 9:09 am

I could agree with you more! The trinity is the original jazz ensemble. As you watch the Godhead, our magnficent One God revealed in three persons make Himself known to us it is truly remarkable. I especially love how they work together in the life of Jesus. I like how you said it, “non-stop improv…never venturing too far from the central idea.”

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Wes Roberts

posted February 13, 2007 at 10:54 am

If you are free…where’s a good place for breakfast on Wednesday, the 28th, off 225 from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM? I need to take a friend to DIA and could easily swing by. My treat. let me know via email if that will work at all. Thanx!

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Wes Roberts

posted February 13, 2007 at 10:59 am

PS…love the music!…each time I return to your site. How did you do that? :)

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Ronnie Johnson

posted February 22, 2007 at 5:29 pm

Im in.

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posted September 20, 2007 at 6:32 pm

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