Faith in a New Key
Presbybop Music is proud to announce it's first compact disc, 'Faith in a New Key: A Conversation between Jazz and Christian Faith,' by Bill Carter and the Presbybop Quartet. Renowned jazz musician and recording artist Dave Brubeck calls the recording 'highly recommended.' Bill Carter is a jazz pianist and the primary composer/arranger for the Presbybop Quartet. Other musicians in the quartet, which Carter founded in 1993, include Al Hamme on saxophone, Tony Marino on bass, and Tom Whaley on drums. They are joined on the CD by vocalists Jacque Tara Washington and Carol Ann North. The CD project was conceived when Princeton Seminary's Center of Continuing Education invited Carter and his quartet to perform at a summer Institute of Theology in 1997. That program, which included jazz arrangements for piano, saxophone, acoustic bass, and drums as well as Carter's reflections on the theology behind and within the music, became the kernel for the compact disc. The disc includes ten musical arrangements, including several jazz renditions of hymn tunes ('Be Thou My Vision' and 'Amazing Grace' are two) and several of Carter's original compositions. Among the latter are 'Dawn Shall Break Again,' a tune Carter calls 'the most personal on the recording,' written as he was 'mulling over a long list of personal problems as the sun suddenly broke over the mountain in the back of my house,' and he recalled the Advent text of Luke 1: 78; and 'All Thumbs,' an up-tempo blues piece written for a performance benefiting Habitat for Humanity. Interspersed among the musical numbers are Carter's reflections on the relationship between the jazz art form and theology. 'A faithful life begins and ends with the praise of God,' says Carter. 'In praise, we cut ourselves loose from all that enslaves us. The jazz form of music does this, too.' Bill Carter hopes the CD will help the church 'to think creatively about the importance of the arts in ministry, and the place of jazz music in the church's worship. ' He leads a jazz worship service in his congregation every year, and has performed with the Presbybop Quartet in a number of churches around the country.