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JazzSpirit Volume 1 and Volume 2

Read "JazzSpirit Volume 1 and Volume 2" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

The Lord blesses many. Among them is Willie Pickens, now a spry 75, who brings vitality and spirit to this collection of sacred hymns.

Pickens, a deacon at the Hyde Park Union Church on Chicago's South Side, has been musically active with a Christmas show that turned into an annual event in 1995. In 2004 Lilly Endowment offered to sponsor a series of sacred concerts. So came about another series of free concerts which in turn begot these ...


Willie Pickens: JazzSpirit, Volumes 1 & 2

Read "JazzSpirit, Volumes 1 & 2" reviewed by Mark Corroto

My neighbor, one of those “born again" types, told me that Jesus hates jazz. I asked her which Jesus she was referring to. When I received no response, I suggested to her it might be the neo-con Jesus who, quite frankly, can't dance.

After a bit of research, I've found there are multiple Jesuses to be found in the world. The American Jesus makes it possible for a CEO to drive his SUV through the proverbial eye of ...


Willie Pickens: Jazz Spirit, Volume 1 & 2

Read "Willie Pickens: Jazz Spirit,  Volume 1 & 2" reviewed by Jim Santella

Veteran Chicago pianist Willie Pickens began his professional career with Eddie Harris when they recorded Exodus to Jazz and etched a message for several generations to remember with smiles all around. Since then, he's worked with Clark Terry, Elvin Jones, Louie Bellson, and has issued several albums of his own. Pickens has a conservative piano style that also includes powerful flourishes and complex harmonies for emphasis.

Recorded last year, both volumes of Jazz Spirit grew out of a series of ...

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