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By Joel Gunz
Every Sunday at 6 p.m., Augustana Lutheran Church does a Jazz Service, starring some of Portland’s musical luminaries, like diva Marilyn Keller and legendary drummer and Pope of the jam session scene Ron Steen. I’m sure the church has taken its share of flack for this (isn’t jazz worldly, or something?), but when you stop and think about it, live jazz during a church service makes perfect sense. After all, jazz and the blues got a major jump start in African American churches a century ago in the deep south. So the circle is complete.
As Portland Monthly magazine says, these musicians “come together to entertain all comers with an entirely different sort of food for the soul. And because the landlord wouldn’t have it any other way: no cover charge.” Sounds good to me. As Duke Ellington once said, which is part of our credo on this blog, “If it sounds good, it is good.”