Jazz For Jesus

Photo by Josh Terry of Wounded Mosquito.Com

Photo by Josh Terry of Wounded Mosquito.Com

You know what I like about the Little Drummer Boy? Well, besides a departure from the tired story of a drummer's death by tour bus or pyrotechnics accident, I like that the only thing this cat had to offer to God was some sweet beats; he gave what he had and he did his best, and that was better than good enough for the Lord of Lords.

Once I dreamed I was standing in heaven next to the gods of jazz Chet Baker, Charlie Parker, and Bill Evans when Jesus walked by. I play sax but Bird (Charlie Parker) was already putting down so I picked up what was left, bass. We saw Jesus coming and we set in and got serious so that as Jesus walked by we were playing our hearts out, we were swinging for the cat of cats, J.C., and I'm not talking John Coltrane (even though he is considered a saint – he even has a church devoted to nothing but him) but the one and only J.C. These gods of jazz and me, subbing on bass, were playing our hearts out. And it was enough, enough to honor God.

Something my teacher taught me years ago was that if you take one step toward Spirit, Spirit takes a thousand steps toward you. All these years I've sought to understand that but I think that the Little Drummer Boy sums it up perfectly. When we show up to practice, we offer whatever we've got: quantity doesn't matter, flexibility doesn't matter, strength doesn't matter. What matters is that you offer what you've got. Anything else, more or less, would be an inappropriate offering. I believe that God comes in many forms, and what does God care if your offering comes in the form of Downward Facing Dog or Cobra Pose, or a swinging jazz lick? Show up and give it your best. Write off the rest.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone.