Monday, June 22, 2009
David Murray's amazing grace
My good friend Ken Laster, whose incomparable In the Groove is my favorite podcast, has calmed me down a bit. I will probably keep going as I have been, and let Mother Mary or Jizo Bodhisattva protect me. But this last few days did get me to finally use Audacity, and I may find it very useful when I also find the time.
Anyway, I just downloaded David Murray's Spirituals (when you are asking for divine protection, you need to cover all the bases). Being a member in good standing of Murray's church, I couldn't really turn this one down.
Murray is famous for his wide stretch from avant garde to Wynton Marsalis-like conservatism. I think he combines the best of both jazz planets. I have always loved Amazing Grace. It is one of those songs that manages to express the hope of people who wear hats not because they are cool, but because they are cooler when you are working under a hot sun. It also shows how music can pack so much depth into a single word like "amazing." The rise and fall of pitch in that single word is worth a ton of theology.
Murray's Spirituals is worth investing in. Pianist David Burrell finds his voice as a Murray sideman. Bassist Fred Hopkins and Drummer Ralph Peterson fill out the team. Here is their amazing Amazing Grace.
Murray doesn't just play the song. He prays. As he does, so shall ye do also. And while you are at it, drop a comment into the offering plate. You know that God is watching while you download.