Pentecost Jazz

Whenever I hear Dave Brubeck, I think of Pentecost. Here’s a video of Brubeck and Al Jarreau that came to mind after reading my friend Steve’s poem (below) on Pentecost and jazz as the music of the Spirit.

PENTECOST (acrostic)

In Memory of Charles Reynolds*


Perhaps a jazz improvisation says

Exactly what is thinkable about

New life, fresh breath…the Holy Spirit.  Has

There ever been a music without doubt

Except jazz?  Faith, improvisation cause

Circles of sound to rise and fly throughout

Our cosmos.  Tongues of flame are seen on heads

Singing or playing solos.  Then without

Time passing–a new language:  Jesus!  Jazz!

*Charles Reynolds was Organist at the McKinley Church at the University of Illinois where Steve was the Senior Minister.

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL. Steve’s Sunday evening program “Keepin’ the Faith” can be heard anytime @, including archive programs, “two of  which,” says Steve, “feature Gordon C. Stewart,my ‘publisher'”.

6 thoughts on “Pentecost Jazz

  1. This calls forth in me one of the things that make human beings different from the animals — the difference in taste from one to another. I enjoy Dave Brubeck very much, though in the field of jazz associated with tremendous faith and power I would likely go to Duke Ellington. But if I want to hear “a music without doubt” I will put on my recording of the Gloria, Credo, and Dona Nobis Pacem from Bach’s Mass in B minor, or “Blessing a d honor, glory and power be unto him…Amen,” from Handel’s Messiah. Or maybe one of the great fugal sections of Brahms’ Requiem. Or….

    It reminds me of Mom trying to get me to eat mushrooms. “But they are DELIOUS,” she would say, “just try one.” But I had already tried one, and I didn’t think it delicious at all.

    If you ever have a chance, try listening to the first movement of Schumann’s Third Symphony. I hope you will find it “delicious.”


    • Hi Carolyn,
      I’m working on a new piece on Nicoldemus that, for reasons that will become apparent when it goes up, has taken me back to kindergarten. We were raised in the kindergarten at Marple. We learned mostly things of the heart there, I think. We began to learn respect for the diffences among us and to pray for each other instead of preying ON earch other.

      I share your love of Ellington, Bach, Handel, Scumann and all the rest. I’ll go and find the Third Symphony for something delicious. BTW, I once did Brubeck’s “Light in the Wilderness,” a jazz mass, for Maundy Thursday at Westminster in Minneapolis. It was “delicious.” Thanks, and peace to you and BJ. Gordon


  2. Jazz and Blues – Some of the finest music ever created. My church, Salem English Lutheran in the Lynn/Lake and Whittier neighborhood holds two services. The second one, my worship, is the Jazz Service. We have three pieces: Sax/flute, guitar, stand up bass. Once in a while there is piano and drums. After worship ends, I hang around to listen to the postlude, which is frequently rocking! So coooooool.


  3. Oh yeah! Oh yeah yeah yeah!! I love Brubeck and Al Green. Wooo-hoooo!!!!

    I can hear the poem in the music. The Holy Spirit is Jazz and Jazz lives in the Holy Spirit!

    (I’m listening and reading in a coffee shop, and chair dancing. Sometimes people look at me quizzically or smiling. Either way, I don’t care. I have a BIG GRIN on my face!)

    Yeah, yeah! Thank you, Gordon and Steve, Dave and Al! Yeah, yeah, yeah!


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