When you think about the all the genres of music there are in the world; which would you pick as your personal favorite(s)?
My personal favorites are Gospel and Jazz. When the two are combined; I am in listener’s heaven. That is why I enjoy hosting Sunday Morning Rise radio program on WNUR; a radio station located on Northwestern University’s Evanston Campus. I love what I do because being a program host has its advantages.
Let’s go back to the first time I was introduced to Gospel Jazz it was through my friend’s father. Their house was the teen hangout; our parents knew that we were safe; so us being there was never an issue. The hosts were welcoming and for some reason enjoyed having a house full of teens. We’d gather in the dining room to play board games, card games, talk, and of course eat. My friend’s father was always in the living room listening to records and watching our every move. My friend’s mother was in the kitchen watching us from her angle. We were well-supervised.
It was common to have their father’s music selections playing in the background. One particular night he was playing a song by Billie Holiday; for some reason the song caught my attention. I went into the living room and asked about the song. He showed me the vinyl’s album cover; we talked about how she looked, but the thing that stood out (to me) was how she sounded. He listened to my interpretation of Billie’s song and said; “let me play something else for you; I think you can handle it.” I sat on the floor close to the speakers and watched as he carefully slipped the album out of the jacket and placed the album on the turn table and gently placed the needle onto the album.
The moment the song began to play the love was immediate. The song was familiar, but new to me at the same time. I closed my eyes and could see the music. I asked him what the name of the song was; he told me it was “Dear Lord” by John Coltrane and that it was a Gospel Jazz song. I was hooked and never looked back. I will share more of my young journey into Gospel Jazz next time.
If you want to hear “Dear Lord” by John Coltrane look it up on Google and let me know if you like the song.