Thursday, October 13, 2011

Music Notes -- Light the Night & Jazz Praise

As a young man, I ran across these two albums in a phase of life when I wanted to listen to anything recorded by and for Christians. Some time ago they were re-released as a single disc set. I ran across them recently through Slacker Radio, and was pleasantly surprised. While perhaps a little too slick and too close to smooth jazz (what I call safe jazz), for many, I think these projects still hold up as well as anything put together by Spiro Gyra or the Yellowjackets.

The projects were recorded under the names of John Mehler and Kenneth Nash, first rate musicians in their own right. However, it took the talents of a number of then barely known players, like John Patitucci (bass) and Wayne Brasil (guitar), to pull it off.

When I first came across these albums, I was new to Christian music, and so a number of the songs were unfamiliar to me. I got to know them through recordings like these even before I learned the tunes had words. This is the power not only of the terrific playing, warm production, masterful arrangements and electric improvisations, but of the music itself. Thus, even for the non-believing listener, I think hearing these seventeen songs can be an edifying experience. For an "older" believer like me, this is quite rewarding.

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