Match the pictures on the right with the shows mentioned on the left HEADS UP Section!
The Reason for the Season…
Time to be Politically Incorrect: MERRY CHRISTMAS! There: I said it, and I feel so much better. Anyone “offended”? Get a life! If Christmas really upsets you that much, stop using the calendar, because we call this year 2013 as a worldwide reference because it is “A.D.”, meaning “Anno Domini” or “The Year of Our Lord.” Don’t give me that C.E baloney, either. What is so “common” about the “era” except that it’s the year Jesus of Nazareth was born.
So, if you’re Jewish (of which I have some “tribal” blood) or Islam (is Mediterranean close enough), just realize that you’re celebrating the birth of the world’s most famous Jew, as well as the most famous person born in the Middle East, and join in with the heavenly host. Sure, terrible things have been done in his name. People also use counterfeit money. Does that stop you from using the real thing! Think about it. Besides, the two most famous American Christmas songs (“The Christmas Song” and “White Christmas”) were written by Jews. Is this a great country or what?!?
But I digress…
What does Christmas and the season have to do with jazz? Well, most Western music came out of the church, and the church started out by making music about the man of the “hypostatic union.” (go look up THAT one!) Essentially, God in the flesh. If you don’t have a copy of Handel’s Messiah, or Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, you’re missing out on some of the greatest music ever composed. Then, you’ve got Christmas Carols like “Angels We Have Heard on High”, “Silent Night”, “Joy to the World” “The First Noel” and “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful” just to name a handful. If you sing the chorus in “Angels…” you’ll end up with one of the greatest highs of all time, as I get the 5th graders in my Sunday School class worn out by having them take that challenge.
Also, the whole spirit of Christmas is about God humbling himself to become a man to save us from our sins, and to be a servant-king. Gifts were initially given to remember the greatest Gift. I’m amazed how selfish I get throughout the year until I’m reminded of Jesus’ example to give sacrificially. To humble yourself so God can lift you up. What musician hasn’t been the victim of a fellow player who has to be the head honcho (or “honcha” in the case of a female vocalist. Jazz teaches you to serve, and the ultimate lesson starts from Christmas.
Lastly, because it comes at the end of the year, Christmas helps you to reflect on what you’ve achieved as well as where you’ve fallen short over the year. Is it the cold weather (in the case of us from the Northern Hemisphere), or the fact that we get together, or at least think about, our relatives? Something makes us pause to ruminate over the previous year and evaluate if (as they say in “It’s A Wonderful Life”) it was a life worth living.
Lastly, there’s nothing like having peace with God during this time of the year so you have something to really celebrate. Wasn’t that why we took up an instrument in the first place, to make someone happy? As Augustine said, “Oh, Lord, you have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest with Thee.”
I’m writing to you out of admiration for the Jazz Weekly. It is a fantastic site, and through it I’ve found out about multiple artists who have inspired my own work which falls somewhat between the stylistic cracks.
Thanks for the review…. and thanks for helping the DIY small artist out… Enjoying your blog too def. the interview section. It’s nice reading about some of the west coast guys I don’t get to see a lot over here in NYC.Again thanks
I’ve been following jazzweekly for some time, I especially like the interviews -
there was a nice one this (I think) about Frisell…Anyway, looking forward. Thanks a lot!Best,