16 September 2011

Commemorating 9/11 Pt.2

Continuing our religious theme, we attended a jazz mass at St John’s evangelical Lutheran Church in Christopher Street, just a block from our apartment. I remember some pretty tame rock masses from my childhood, but this was far more interesting. The band was skilled, the conception was good and the music was varied and informed. I heard Freddie Hubbard-like ’70s modal, some great funk, a Love Supreme groove, Amazing grace behind the gospel reading, Body & soul behind a memorial reading for the fallen on 9/11. This was seriously satisfying music and there was a surprise that followed. We’d left fairly quickly. We had a dinner booked, the mass had run on a bit, and I was saving Megan from another of my chatter sessions with musos. Then I got an email the next day from Andrew Swift. He’d been the drummer and had played this gig for a year. I’d missed him after the mass. Another small world experience and one I can live off for some time. So now I have the names of the band. The band’s musical director was Sharel Cassity, a very decent female alto saxist who doubles on flute. Apparently Andrew plays in her regular working band. The rest of the band were pianist Roy Assaf, singer Melanie Charles and bassist Spencer Murphy who works at Smalls some days. A flugelhorn sat in for the harmony lines on the final funky number. Europe may have its authentic church music traditions, but this is America’s. And a great sermon on forgiveness by Dr John J Scibilla which impressed our godless souls.

Finally, there were numerous small activities around NYC for the 9/11 anniversary: postcards, tiles, ribbons, displays, fire brigade reunions, but perhaps the most available was the Tribute in light which ran only overnight from evening Sunday 11 Sept to morning Monday 12 Sept. This comprises two beams that mimic the shape and orientation of the missing towers, and powered by 44 7Kwatt bulbs. This year’s low clouds left an eerie impression of smoke escaping the towers, as in the original pics. A nice gesture.

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