Jazz fans are known for their religious-like zeal, but in the 1960s jazz sometimes became a PART of religion, providing the soundtrack for church ceremonies.
That church dedicated to the saxophonist in San Francisco? Not so weird, when you think about it.
This week on Night Lights it’s “Songs of Peace.” We’ll hear instrumental themes using “Peace” as a title from John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Horace Silver, as well as Louis Armstrong’s 1970 take on John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance,” Bill Evans’ improvisation on Leonard Bernstein’s “Some Other Time” that came to be known as “Peace Piece,” Mahalia Jackson’s a capella version of Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday,” and more.
Mary Lou Williams, the pianist, arranger, and composer whose career in jazz traced a line all the way from the Kansas City scene of the late 1920s through the swing era, bop, the 1950s jazz expatriate community, and an academic job at Duke in the late 1970s, also helped to pioneer sacred jazz in…