O Holy (N’Awlins) Night

I’m enjoying watching Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip as my consolation for the cancellation of The West Wing. The Christmas episode aired December 4th and climaxed with a group of displaced New Orleans Jazz musicians doing a fabulous rendition of O Holy Night. Turns out the arrangement was instantly popular online and gained a lot of attention for The Tipitina’s Foundation, which is working toward rebuilding the New Orleans music culture. The clip from the show is available at YouTube, but the full MP3 version of the song is available for free download on the Studio 60 website, and I do recommend it.

Why church is like a jazz gig

Rodd Jefferson has this idea that church is like a jazz gig. I reviewed each of his six reasons with the accompanying rationale. As a jazz lover, I cringed when he said that jazz is a dying trade and wanted to dispute the whole thing… but sadly, I can’t. When compared with the church, his thesis becomes all the more poignant, and this is the point that ultimately convinces me that he is right after all.

I still find myself wanting to stipulate that the emerging church is going to be like jazz too — but in all the right ways this time. Maybe jazz being for the player could mean once more that we’re all missional, we’re all participants. Yeah, that would work… maybe the missional church could really be the Birth of the Cool.

Jazz and the art of connecting

Garr Reynolds at Presentation Zen has compiled a great series of quotes from Jazz musicians, Jazz and the art of connecting (HT: Bob Carlton). The series of 11 quotes offers an annotation of lessons for design, but really, the majority of these could be extended into most areas of life. “Don’t bullshit… just play.” — Wynton-Marsalis. See what I mean? Basically almost all of life should be explained through Jazz. If Jazz doesn’t have the answer, I expect you’ll be wantin’ The Blues.