Here lately I've been listening to all sorts of gospel music in search of jazzy touch, feeling, or vibe-- something reminiscent of jazz in gospel...The results are dismal.
That's not a bad thing. However, from the views of an aspiring jazz pianist, I wonder now more than ever why the harmonies, intervals, and voicings of jazz are so rare in gospel. I love both genres of music and I have to constantly remind myself: jazz is all about the music, gospel is all about the message.
My only concern is will my church/gospel music colleagues ever dig deep and explore the possibilities of how jazz can enhance the sound, the feeling, and mood of a song? Or will they grow content in their comfort zones citing previous James Hall and Hezekiah Walker songs as the closest to jazz they'll ever get?
The music of Take 6, Darryl Coley, Kim Burrell, The Clark Sisters, Commissioned, Yolanda Adams, Ramsey Lewis, Melvin Crispell, John Peters, PJ Morgan, Cory Henry, The Powell Family are some of the artists and musicians that realize and explore those jazz-gospel possibilities. And yet I believe there is still much, much more to learn and grow from by listening to their recordings and through my own experimentations.