The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

Coltrane’s Alabama

Alabama, is a song Coltrane composed after listening the the rhythms of Martin Luther King Jr’s sermon eulogizing the four young girls killed in the bombing of a church in Birmingham.

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posted August 1, 2007 at 6:38 am

I just put Spike Lee’s 1997 documentary, 4 LITTLE GIRLS, at the top of my queue on Netflix. I want to know more.

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Rebecca Schaefer

posted August 1, 2007 at 1:30 pm

What an analogy, (my paraphrase:) a “poet in the supermarket” called upon to go into the public, to informally & spontaneously create music – can’t rework product after it is offerd, it is done for all time…that gives Jazz it’s unique quality of aliveness. I’m beginning to clue in on the commonalities of: a Jazz musician & a Pastor, a Jazz song and Gospel message, an audience and a congregation, a supermarket & a church…
Did anyone notice John C’s eyes in the close-up…long eyelashes blinking (in disbelief or tears?), the pupils darting back & forth (a right-brained creative impulse or searching for the song?)

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Bob Hartig

posted February 28, 2008 at 12:24 am

Just getting acquainted with your blog after working through the material on your book. This is a great post to start with. I hadn’t heard “Alabama” till now. The preceding commentary is a real find, but the tune speaks for itself–haunting, very beautiful, and deeply sad. As brooding and contemplative mood as the tune strikes, there is nonetheless a sense of urgency in the faces of the musicians. Thank you for sharing this amazing clip.

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