CJA Network "What Is Jazz?" Survey 

 Eric Copeland-- "The expression of feeling, mood, and emotion through improvisation, rhythm, and tone"

 Rhonda McCoy --"Jazz is like comfort food. It's like a heavy quilt on a cold, rainy day."

 Bill Cantos--  "Without getting too technical or too artsy....jazz to me is really a combination of several things; a certain harmonic structure and flavor; perhaps certain instruments that evoke the sound; the use of improvisation in some way, even if only minimally; but most of all - it has GOT to swing..."

Ric Flauding-- "Jazz, perhaps more than any other music before it allowed the performer (non composer) to have his / her own "voice" within the music.  Jazz is perhaps the first lasting style where the "players" factored highly in the musicís uniqueness.  Iíve heard stories of known jazz composers letting their players design their own "part" whether in a solo capacity and even in ensemble work that was later notated and those versions are today what remains in print". 

Gary Meggs--Jazz is...God inspired musical creation through improvisation.

Chuck Marohnic--  "When jazz is played properly in the worship setting with other musicians, it becomes a perfect example of the Body of Christ where each musician gives him/herself, without egoist intervention,  to each other for the purpose of corporate praise of the Almighty". -

Bill Carty--"Jazz is simply...music that allows freedom of expression and improv
from the musicians performing it. Christian Jazz therefore is jazz
music based on Christian themes that have been arranged to allow the
musician to express his or her love for God thru their instrument."

Bill Gehman--"I too am glad that the Creator gave us jazz. Harmony, improvisation,
depth, passion, creativity, spontaneity, virtuosity, complex rhythms,
experimental harmonic structures. I dig it!" Ed Friedland
says, "Jazz, in its truest form, is a living thing. It breathes,
flows; it can change direction like the wind. The same tune will
never be played the same way twice."

Lance Bryant--"Jazz gives us an unlimited canvas on which we can express our love, feelings and thoughts about an awesome God.... jazz is an art form that expresses joy and pain. Salvation through struggle and trials are a part of the message that we get from the Word. People must be educated and exposed to jazz. If the music of Bach and Handel as well as the Gaithers can express a wide range of passion in the church, so can jazz."

David Arivett--"So let us consider that Jazz music was given to us by a loving Creator to enjoy! And that truly gets me truly, "jazzed" hallelujah! I really dig jazz because of the spontaneity and freedom to express oneself in the present moment! You find yourself expressing how you feel through the spirit...sorta like " I just gotta testify about the goodness of the Lord" and then play the way you feel. Jazz developed out of the blues and when you hear someone playing or singin' the blues you can immediately identify with how they are feeling right then...in the now."
So many have tuned out listening to jazz because they have come across jazz music that is only an insider language that only other properly initiated musicians can understand. And that is a pity because their is so much great jazz music that is spiritual and totally engages the listener... both emotionally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually!

Chuck Mandt-- "Interesting thought about Christians being afraid of jazz. A recent informal survey of church musicians asking what's the one thing you could learn to improve your ability to play a church service revealed that 99% answered "improvise like a jazz player". Some pious Christians might not like jazz but the musicians sure do. 10 years ago when I first started playing for the traditional service, I got the "you make the music sound like a piano bar". In my case I did ask, "how do you know what piano bar music sounds like?" That was last I heard about that!"

Ed Hawkins - "Hey, man, I have the heart of a jazzer, ... I play what I play with a jazzer's heart - always have, even when I didn't know what jazz was. There was a life to my playing that people saw as ability, but I think that what they really heard was my heart and my passion".


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