Tuesday, January 15, 2008

the girl who used to be

The fun thing about jazz musicians is that they're often so versatile. They can read charts like maniacs, often don't need much rehearsal, can transpose easily, can respond quickly to a good leader. Whenever I have the budget, I always hire jazz musicians, even if the music isn't strictly (or remotely) jazz.

The Jazz Protagonists are sometimes called on to do recording projects. We've been the backup band for pros like Maggie Worsdale, we've done one-shot projects for amateur vocalists who just want to record an album, we've done an award-winning children's album (Owen Duggan's An Elephant Never Forgets), a folk-rock-blues album for a Randy Newman-ish singer-songwriter, a contest entry for a talented young trumpeter.

And a while back we were the band for a countryish folk-rock singer named Jamie Blythe.

Check it out: The Girl Who Used To Be (That's Grammy-winning Bobby Flores on electric guitar, by the way.)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

hill country gloria

I'm the worship leader for a church that does a traditional liturgy, but in a contemporary context. So they do the typical recited prayers, but they're on powerpoint, and the music is a blend of old traditional stuff and contemporary stuff, but all done in a contemporary style.

And the band is in the back.

Some of the prayers (like the Gloria and the Sanctus) are traditionally set to music; and often you switch settings from season to season. Most of the great composers have written settings to these classic texts, handed down for centuries, always breathing new life into the deathless Gospel.

So, for the first Sunday of the new year, I wrote a new Gloria for this Hill Country church.