Unlike traditional Gospel music, Jazz music is often a wordless or instrumental medium. Because of this, many express their struggle to find the ‘message of the Gospel’ in Inspirational Jazz or Gospel Jazz. Some people of faith feel that Inspirational Jazz is too secular for the church and can tolerate it on the radio — but do not want it in the church at all.
What do you think? Can a style of music with no words carry the message of Jesus Christ? Does an instrumental song have to be a hymn to be considered Gospel music? Is Inspirational Jazz sacred or secular?
One of the most popular musicians creating Inspirational Jazz is Saxophonist Kirk Whalum. The popularity of Kirk’s “The Gospel According to Jazz” CD’s has been amazing. The latest entry, “The Gospel According to Jazz: Chapter III” is a CD and DVD set to be released on November 17, 2009. In a recent interview, Kirk Whalum stated this, “The mission of my ‘Gospel According to Jazz’ CD series is to impact the hearts of jazz fans with the message of the gospel.
So here’s the question: Have you seen God work through Gospel Jazz to touch someone who would otherwise not have understood the spoken Word (or the sung Word)?