Saturday, November 22, 2014

Conversational Jazz

Jazz is a musical language that I am just beginning to understand. No. 2 performed in a festival this morning with the school jazz band. My favorite piece they did was "Summertime," with that wailing muted trumpet. Classic and beautiful piece by Gershwin from the musical Porgy and Bess. They also did "A Child is Born" by Thad Jones, a very quiet and moving piece that builds slowly, adding a few instruments at a time. You really have to sit still and listen.

Maybe that is what I didn't like about jazz as a younger person. You don't dance to a song like that, just sit and experience it and see what feelings it brings out in you. There is jazz for dancing too of course. Swing is a long-time favorite. In the heart of the grunge music era, I used to buy Harry Connick Jr CDs at the dumpy little music shop between my apartment and the university campus. But then I used to skip impatiently over the instrumental tracks. Now I'm more willing to just sit and listen to the conversation.

Today is the fifty-first anniversary of C.S. Lewis' death, his birthday into glory, as my grandparents might have put it (not that they were Lewis readers, they were more likely to listen to a radio or television evangelist). The Episcopal Church in the USA venerates Lewis as a saint. I like to remember him today in thankfulness for the great impact he had on my spiritual life and growth as a Christian. I'll light a candle, have a cup of British tea and maybe read a bit of Narnia tonight.

C.S. Lewis
29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963

Today: Advent wreath making for No. 3, Closing Night of the school play for No. 1
Thinking ahead: Thanksgiving at my sister's, Hunchback of Notre Dame at La Jolla Playhouse, St. Andrew's Day--a day for thinking about my (partly) Scottish heritage and fostering an appreciation for it in the kids.

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