The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

Finding Your Voice–a personal journey (p4)


Jazz icon Sydney Bechet once gave the following instructions to a fellow musician, “I’m going to give you one note today…See how many ways you can play that note—growl it, smear it, flat it, sharp it, do anything you want to it.”

There are so many notes in the scriptures that you can’t learn to play them all really well.  I think at some level we need to be satisfied being one-note-wonders.  Sure, we know the whole scale but we seek to dive deep in certain areas before moving on.

I mentioned earlier that the first book of the Bible that I read was James.  I have forever been trying to live out that book.  Take James 1.27 for instance.


"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:  to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

I still haven’t mastered the orphan part of that verse.  Sure, I understand it intellectually.  In jazz you don’t really know something until you take it off the page and perform it off the stage.

This one note of caring for the orphans may take me a lifetime to understand the implications upon my family, the church of which I’m a part and the Body of Christ as a whole.

But it seems to me that a bunch of one note wonders playing in concert for and with each other might be able to make some good music.

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Drew Moser

posted March 18, 2007 at 4:16 am

you need to write a book on this stuff…seriously

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posted March 19, 2007 at 4:03 pm

Soemtime I find that one note is all you can handle. Especially during times when faith is hard.
Matt 22:37-40 is my favourite single note expression.

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posted March 20, 2007 at 5:53 pm

mcd, you ever thought about writing a book on this stuff? listen to drew! -lsn

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posted March 21, 2007 at 12:15 pm

Drew & LSN,
A book? I hoping to be able to make an annoucement here in the near future…
Mt. 22…not a bad note to try and master!

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