Songs Of David Jazz Links
Merry Christmas from Songs Of David!
WHAT'S INSIDE THIS MONTH'S NEWSLETTER
This month we have an interview with Saxophonist Greg Vail. Greg is a wonderful musician & also played with many top artists. Greg has a new Christmas CD entitled, "Christmas The Hymns". The featured CJA download this month is " We Three Kings" from Greg's new release and features both him and son in a musical collaboration! The CD also features legendary keyboardist Rob Mullins!
Also don't miss out on the free Christmas Mp3 downloads from our own CJA artists! There is a wide variety of your favorite Carols and Christmas songs! Download them and enjoy them this Christmas. Besides the CJA Christmas Mp3's there is also a collection of Christmas Mp3's from other jazz artists also free to download. It would be hard to find a better collection of Christmas Jazz Mp3's anywhere on the internet!! Click on the CJA Download link located directly below on the far left of this page! http://www.songsofdavid.com/CJA_Free_Download.htm
The article/devotional this month is," What If He Hadn't Come To Earth?", by David Arivett. It will definitely give you some things to ponder as you enter Advent and the Christmas season!
CJA News & Noteworthy!
New CD release by Christian Jazz Artist Bradley Sowash!
When Saints Go Marching Hymns & Spirituals For Solo Jazz Piano, Vol. II Following on the heels of his critically-acclaimed bestseller We Gather Together, Bradley Sowash unleashes When Saints Go Marching; Hymns & Spirituals for Solo Jazz Piano Vol. II. Alternately exhilarating and peaceful, Swing Lo Sweet Chariot, America, and Down By The Riverside are powerfully reinterpreted by an original jazz master. Audio Excerpts can be found here http://www.bradleysowash.com/cdfact.htm
New CD release by Christian Jazz Artist David Diggs!
Just released!! David's new CD jazzwerk includes 6 new songs, plus all 12 songs from Eklektrik DVD (double CD on one). New songs feature Rachel Diggs, Steve Lukather, Joey Heredia, Vinnie Coliauta, Brandon Fields, Bobby Rodriguez, and others. Audio excerpts can be found here: http://www.daviddiggs.com/newcds.htm
New CD release by Christian Jazz Artist Michael Ripoll!
New Release by talented guitarist Michael Ripoll produced by Kirk Whalum. This CD features some great Latin smooth jazz with tasteful guitar playing by Michael and Kirk Whalum on sax. Need we say more??? More info here: http://www.michaelripoll.com
CD by Christian Jazz Artist David Arivett!
Keyboard Meditations is a perfect CD for the winter season! "Be ready to be transported to a peaceful and serene place with Keyboard Meditations by David Arivett. David's music definitely has therapeutic qualities! Beautiful pianos and lush orchestral pads compliment his wonderful compositions and skilled keyboard playing". Audio Excerpts here: http://www.songsofdavid.com/music_jazz_film.shtml#Key%20Med%20CD
Christian Jazz Artist Alex Acuna recently receives two 2003 Latin Grammy nominations!
Alex is also scheduled to play at Don Grusin’s World Jam. He’ll be reunited with some old friends – Lee Ritenour, Abraham Laboriel, Patti Austin, Harvey Mason, Dave Grusin and Nathan East to name a few. The closed concert will take place on September 24th, but will be recorded for DVD distribution.
Pizzazz Radio! Smooth Jazz with Pizazz! A radio program featuring
Christian Jazz Artists!
Have you visited the Songs Of David Jazz Ed page? There is instructional material from some of the very top names in Jazz ! Legendary Keyboardist Rob Mullins keyboard book is our most recent addition so make sure and check it all out!
Our free featured CJA Download this month is " We Three Kings" from Saxophonist Greg Vail. Don't miss out this great download! For more info on His CD follow the link below.
don't miss out on all the free Christmas Mp3 downloads from our
own CJA artists! There is a wide variety of your favorite Carols and
Christmas songs! Download them and enjoy them this Christmas. Besides
the CJA Christmas Mp3's there is also a collection of Christmas Mp3's
from other jazz artists also free to download. It would be hard
to find a better collection of Christmas Jazz Mp3's anywhere on the
internet!! Click on the CJA Download link located directly below !
When did you start developing a love for Jazz music?
I was raised in a musical family with my Grandfather playing all the
woodwinds and loving Jazz. I had a sax as early as I can remember; 6
years-old or so; and remember sitting glued to the TV, watching the
Lawrence Welk Show, just waiting for the sax players to make the shot.
I loved the old jazz very early on, but it was middle school Jazz Band
that really hooked me.
you study Jazz formally and if so where?
No. I was a Classical Sax Major at Long Beach State. I studied a
little Jazz, but I was introduced to Classical styles, and really lost
myself in them for most of my formal education.
Who do you consider some of the main influences on your writing and playing
That is always changing. I believe "Influence" must come
from many sources and never stagnate. If you have just 1, you will
become a lame clone of that guy. If you have 3 or more
"Influences" that are effecting your styles and concepts,
you will never sound like any of them, yet always be moving forward in
your personal playing. With that said, I am really loving the new
Brecker CD with winds and strings -- very artistic and fresh. I am
having a serious relationship with Keith Jarrett and Jan Garbarek's
music again and I do work with one of the most talented Piano
Players alive, Rob Mullins. I have been stealing musical ideas from
him for years now.
Do you ever find opportunities for playing jazz as a Christian Jazz
Artist in churches? ( I have discovered recently several Christian
Jazz Artists who are promoting “Sanctuary Jazz” worship services
using Jazz as the
predominant style. There seems to be a new trend towards using Jazz in
worship and I find that exciting!)
I am playing all the time in the church. Over the past few years,
there has been a real shift in my workload from the Smooth Jazz World
to the Church. Most of the music I play would be considered Pop,
but most of what I do is considered Jazz. I can tone it down and play
a nice Pop solo for the CD, but out and live; it's gonna be a little
stretched and more aggressive. All of my travel, over the past 3
years has been Church related. Most of my CD discography, as sideman,
has been Gospel/Contemporary.
my new projects recorded on my personal label are
Christian Jazz Music.
I would have to
say, this Christian Jazz Artist is playing at Church all the time,
traveling all over the world, exported to thousands of Churches
worldwide thru conferences, webcasts and online Church services and
known to most folks as a Christian Sax Player. They tend to be
more surprised by my career outside of the Church as a Jazz Artist. It
is pretty funny because years ago, people where all freaked out if I
played at their Church.
us something about your new CD's "The Gospel Truth "
and "Christmas, The Hymns"?
When I finally had a little artistic control and money – (now that
needs to happen for more of us!) - I started my own label and recorded
tunes I thought were great. "Christmas, The Hymns" was my
first release. I took all my favorite Christmas carols and took a list
to my partner’s studio and we went to work. Rob Mullins and I had 2
things in common. We wanted to record songs we really loved, and we
wanted to do a CD that honored the MUSIC and not the RADIO airplay
folks. Artists don't make great CDs these days; they take 10-12 tracks
and try to give RADIO a hit single. (12 tracks of the same basic song
with the attempt of hitting the perfect combination for serious
rotation.)Sorry guys - Just my take on it.
SO... We took 12 Christmas Favorites and arranged them to be
true to the lyric content while approached as instrumental jazz. Every
attempt was made to focus on the content of these classics with only
the melodies and a great imagination. "Deck The
Halls" is totally festive. "Joy To The World" takes it
up one more notch, 3 more times - Very full of Joy. "We Three
Kings" is the Funky track, representing the 3 funky guys, with
all the cash, dressed to kill and bringing gifts from afar to baby
Jesus. I even used my son on this track, casting him as the third king
(musically speaking).Sorry ... just a quick example of what I mean
when saying true to the Music. "The
Gospel Truth" CD was birthed in much personal pain and the music
that helped me thru it. My Church exposure was touching me thru the
music I was playing. I took some of my favorite worship choruses and
allowed my passion and connection to these songs to be produced
by Mullins and myself, creating some Instrumental Jazz Worship
tracks that have touched many that are not Christians at all. Ahh, the
power of Music with Purpose...
What was it like working and recording with Rob Mullins on some of
your CD’s? (He is an incredible Jazz pianist and composer as well!!)
Rob and I work great together. We have been doing this for a long time
and it is pretty, second nature, recording with him. He is a real
talent and a total joy to work with. I am really blessed to have him
in my life!
Many people have a misconception about smooth jazz, that it is all
Kenny G, laid back and romantic, ect. Kudos to you for your Smooth
Jazz CD, “Emotion”, which has been described as “Smooth Jazz
with some funk on it!” Personally I love jazz that gets funky as
well! What are your comments concerning this?
Music has to be real or it is just wasting everyone's time. I have a lot
of musical styles I love and keeping it real is the only issue to me.
Who I am as an artist will always encompass taking it out a bit and
stretching out while still playing pretty Pop and Jazz styles at the
same time. Jazz is a huge category of different music styles. There is
a time for introspection and a time to celebrate. I love them both.
Tell us more about the Blues CD you recently recorded with Bobby Cruz
for Mike Moreno at New Life Christian? Is it “Christian Blues” or
It was really fun. Mike wrote a book on depression and wanted to
record some songs about having the blues in a blues style. I don't get
to do much blues recording so it was extra fun for me to take this job
and add some real classic rock playing to it. The topics cover having
the blues, but focus on getting out of the funk and participating in
life again. Kinda... Christian Blues with some answers on top?
Do you find a spiritual connection in playing and writing music? Some
writers consider the creative process to be a gift from the Creator
connection very strong while writing music. What are your
you have God in your life, everything has spiritual merit. It does not
have to be just a Sunday morning thing. Our lives are supposed to be a
living sacrifice and we are told to give everything back to God.
Writing is no exception. Since all good things come from our Father
above, there can be nothing really good without that spiritual
connection, including the actual material.
How do you feel about the new worship music being produced today?
Some of it is great. A lot of it is just copies of the music in the
world. There is good and bad theology in the music. I think the most
significant thing is the heart of many of the new artists for God. I
think the sad part is the business of making music, even in the
Church. If it's real, if it is from the heart, it is amazing!
Are you still doing projects with Maranatha and Vineyard playing Sax?
If so tell us a little about your work with them.
Vineyard recordings have become a thing of the past since my buddy
that ran the Record label passed away a few years ago. I am not really
sure what they are doing now. Maranatha has a new studio not far from
me and I did just finish an instrumental CD for them of the classic
Maranatha stuff this summer. Really pretty Soprano stuff and songs I
already knew and loved, so it was great fun.
What is your favorite church hymn and why?
Amazing Grace because of the blues approach you can take with it and
because of the overwhelming truth that it is both amazing and grace
that allows us to participate and relate to the Creator of the
Universe at all.
What has been your most challenging project that you have ever worked
I would have to say my own CDs. The reason being, I took everything I
am to the table; every instrument, all my abilities, and then allowed
Rob to push me as hard as he could to really make an artistic yet
intensely spiritual statement with each track. It was very involved
and really amazing to take the responsibility of presenting these
songs with artistry and passion.
You have played and produced for many top names in Jazz...what
goals do you
have planned for yourself as an artist and a person?
You know that one is impossible to answer. We are not supposed to say,
"Tomorrow I will go out and buy this or that, because we don't
know if we will even be here tomorrow." (That
is Greg's revised, sub standard version.)
I hope to record more music. I plan on playing where God wants me and
what God wants me play. I pray He allows me the time and resources to
do any one of 4 CDs I have been thinking about. I want to record an
old-school Christmas CD, totally traditional approach. I want to do
another Rob Mullins Band CD, a Greg Vail CD with Pop feel and more
real Jazz blowing on it, and have a hymns and praise CD planned with
harp and the small, pretty little instruments I play. We will see how
that works with some time, but these are the projects spinning around
in my head this month.
What If He Hadn't Come To Earth?
I would like for you to consider the following scenario…what if Jesus hadn’t come
to earth, that there was no Christ child, no incarnation, and no Christmas? Try to
imagine what History would look like for the last 2000 years without Christ,
without His words, and without the New Testament!
I believe that total chaos would have ruled the last 2000 years! Without the
influence of Christ and Christianity on History evil would have scored a total
victory. Think of all the humanitarian efforts, the building of hospitals, the healing
and feeding of countless millions. Multitudes of people’s lives that wouldn’t have
been changed by the message and power of Christ! Without the message of the
birth, life, and death of Christ and His influence on the world the possibility exists
that none of us would be here today because of a nuclear catastrophe! But if
mankind had somehow survived total annihilation what kind of society would
there be without the influence of Christ on our world?
Then imagine further with me that Christmas never was and never to be! No
giving of gifts, no cheerful acts of kindness, Christmas carols or Christmas trees!
No Churches, no Cantatas, and no Holiday cheer. No stories of the wonderful
birth of the baby Jesus. No message of hope, joy, or peace on earth, good will to
men? No message of loving one another. Worst of all, NO CHRIST!
More importantly, what difference would it have made in your life if Christ had
never existed or been born in your live? Yes, that is the question that really can
make you think! What difference has Christ made in your life? Where would you
and I be without having ever heard the story about how God decided to become
one of us and, "pitch His tent " with us to dwell in human flesh? The Apostle Paul
writes in chapter two of the book of Ephesians that we should remember what we
once were without Christ! Paul says that we were without hope!! And that really
does sum up what it would mean for the whole world but especially for those of
us who have experienced Him in a personal and intimate way.
It is so easy to get caught up with all the shopping, ceremonies, music, and
celebrations to take for granted the glorious Incarnation and miraculous wonder
of the Christ Child. Maybe it’s time to pause for a moment right now for us to lift
our thanks and gratitude to God for coming to earth and for the incredible
difference Christ has made in our lives .To be grateful for the gifts of hope, joy,
peace, and love. Think of all the evil things He has delivered you from and praise
Him for it!! Taste of the joy and peace that only Christ can give right now!
Martin Luther wrote these words long ago but they are still very relevant. He said,
"We must listen not just to history, but to a gift "! Most of us will hear the
Christmas story several times over the next month. We will look back into history
to recall what happened that glorious night long ago. But as we look back let us
not forget the wondrous gift that came bundled up, wrapped in love, and sent
from heaven to bless all mankind! Furthermore let us look to the present and may
our prayer be that the Spirit of Christ "be born in us" today, fresh and new. May
we honor and serve Him by following His message and doing what He said for us
to do. Share His message of love, hope, joy, and peace to others not only at
Christmas but moment by moment throughout our lives. May we never take for
granted the wonder of the Incarnation. But also remember that the miracle of His
birth is re-created over and over again in the lives of all who will receive Him and
let His Spirit be born and grow in their lives!
Let me leave you with the words from one of the great Christmas carols:
O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray,
Cast out our sin and enter in;
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell,
O come to us abide with us;
Our Lord Emmanuel.
Written by David Arivett
Songs Of David
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