Archive for March 7th, 2010

Kirk Whalum – The Gospel According To Jazz: Chapter III

Eight-time Grammy nominated jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum will release the long-awaited third installment in his popular genre-bridging gospel jazz series with a special package and unique online marketing campaign. The star-studded live celebration The Gospel According To Jazz: Chapter III will be available March 16, 2010, in both a two-disc CD package and a special DVD shot in hi-definition video via Whalum’s label Top Drawer Records and distributor Mack Avenue Records.The project features the gospel-targeted single “He’s Been Just That Good,”featuring vocalist Lalah Hathaway.

The Gospel According To Jazz is the brainchild of Whalum, whose dedication to his musical craft and his Christian beliefs came together to launch the live concert celebrations with the first GATJ release in 1998. A second edition, The Gospel According To Jazz II, was recorded in Los Angeles and released in 2002. The project was honored with a gospel Stellar Award for Instrumental CD of the Year and garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album.

The long-awaited Chapter III in the series – recorded live in 2007 at the Reid Temple AME church in Glenn Dale, Maryland – is a joyous concert of praise and worship,where Whalum takes listeners on a journey from spirituals through New Orleans jazz through modern jazz, R&B, hip-hop, reggae, blues, and gospel. “It’s kind of a mini journey through the evolution of jazz to an extent,” says Whalum. “It documents the fact that gospel is not a recent collaborator with jazz. They started out together.”

Unique to the concept of The Gospel According To Jazz is the fact that it brings jazz fans, gospel fans, and R&B fans together with those who are dedicated to Christ, and meets the listeners where they are spiritually. Including a DVD shot by noted filmmaker Jim Hanon in hi-def — the listener and the DVD viewer can truly witness the profound connections made between the audience and the musicians,between the musicians themselves, and between all present and the Holy Spirit.

“It’s a vertical and horizontal interaction,” Whalum explains, “where you see these musicians playing and expressing themselves in their adoration and wonder for the Invisible One. And when the camera pans over,across the shoulder of the artist, you focus on the audience members who are responding and taking part, that’s the horizontal aspect, resonating with each other in their own questions and struggles and affirmations of faith and appreciation of music. Then there is a vertical dimension that separates this from most just regular other jazz shows. It’s transcendent.”

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