Last night, I went to hear Klüver’s Big Band and Cecilie Norby, performing as part of Aarhus International Jazz Festival. The concert was awesome, as I’m sure the live recording will be.
On my way back, I came to wonder if the image of jazz music could be applied to how church should be.
A feature that is more prominent in jazz than in most other genres is the celebration of the improvised solo. Isn’t this selfish, some might rightfully ask? No, I don’t believe it is. No jazz musician can do without a band, and however great the solo or the soloist, it is always best if backed by a strong band. Also, every soloist knows his place; in a jam-session it is perceived as rude if anybody abuses his position or not stands down in due time. When he does finish his solo, applause follows, and it’s time for the next solo, or back to full band.
With talented musicians, this amounts to great jazz in the art of improvisation. Knowing your place in the band, playing your solos, playing up to the other’s solos, and all the time being more interested in the end result than your own position. It’s all about making music and having a good time.
I love classical music, too, but I think I envision a church that is more like a jazz band than a choir. A church that allows for improvisation, for many different soloists, and for being happy about each others’ achievements. A church that comes together for jam session because they are passionate about the end result—living for God. And last, but not least, a church that has a good time doing it.