Jazz and Christian Thought

Accomplished jazz pianist Pamela York visits the program to discuss jazz music and its relation to Christianity. Pamela’s two albums, The Way of Time and Blue York are currently available at Amazon and in the iTunes music store.

Participants: , , , ,

Reformed Media Review is dedicated to reviewing books and culture. To submit a review for consideration, visit the contact page. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.

G. Kyle Essary

10 years ago

This was a very cool episode. Lots to think about in regards to education, aesthetics and “ontological impossibilities,” haha.

Nate Shannon

10 years ago

I’m an ontological impossibilities and potatoes guy, but you gotta eat your veggies too. That whole idea is a question having to do with performance art, especially classical music. If I compose of a piece of music, where/which is the actual art work: the composition on the paper? the ideal performance I have in my mind? Any or every one of the infinitely varied realizations in performance? This would make many factors actually integral parts of each “token” or performance, such as the individual performers, plus environmental aspects (the hall, the weather, the audience, and so on). Crumb composed that piece 4’34 which was meant to emphasize the role of immediate environmental factors in the performance of the art work itself. It was an ontological statement. Or a Platonic ideal performance which no one ever achieves? Glenn Gould quit performing in public at one point in order to concentrate on recording. He believed that recording technology made live performance obsolete. So he was emphasizing a kind of Platonic ideal approach – but he was famous for changing scores, like even Mozart scores! So clearly it was HIS ideal he was searching for.
Its a great question, which is probably best left unresolved. With visual art, the mystery is anchored in the subject-object context of interpretation I think, since obviously the object doesn’t change.

Tim H.

10 years ago

Enjoy the episode.

Nate – with regard to the subjective benefit to the musician of his performance, I was reminded of a helpful quote with regard to my own art of choice. It’s not exactly analogous, but similar:

‎”Most of the arts, as painting, sculpture, and music, have emotional appeal to the general public. This is because these arts can be experienced by some one or more of our senses. Such is not true of the art of mathematics; this art can be appreciated only by mathematicians, and to become a mathematician requires a long period of intensive training. The community of mathematicians is similar to an imaginary community of musical composers whose only satisfaction is obtained by the interchange among themselves of the musical scores they compose.” Cornelius Lanczosm, in H. Eves Mathematical Circles Squared, Boston: Prindle, Weber and Schmidt, 1972.

All Things Expounded » Jazz and Christian Thought

10 years ago

[…] Reformed Media Review has a great interview called Jazz and Christian Thought with Pamela York, a Jazz musician and the wife of a pastor of an OPC congregation in Texas. […]

John Stebbe

9 years ago

Being a Presbyterian jazz pianist myself, I really appreciated this episode. Being able to have Pamela skype into your show was very cool. I was so happy to see the piano off to her left. I thought, “Yes, she’s going to play a little bit now and then to illustrate her points.” But no! A whole hour goes by, with the piano plainly in view, and she never touches it. The keyboard was just there to taunt, apparently. 🙂

I was struck by a question from one of your panelists: “Pamela, when Diana Krall came to give you lessons, did you share the Gospel with her? Just kidding.”

I have thought about that and thought about that. Why would a person ‘kid’ about such a thing? Why wouldn’t Pamela have shared the Gospel with Diana Krall? Is the whole idea of asking such a question so ridiculous that you should apologize for having asked it?

I know that Pamela did answer the question, by saying that she didn’t go to church then (and presumably was not a Christian at the time), so the topic did not come up. But your panelist didn’t know that when he asked the question, I presume. So I just can’t stop wondering what led to the ‘just kidding’ part of his question.

Still, as a whole, I was very pleased with the episode. I think was a wonderful way to bless the Lord’s people with a mix of technology, the arts, and an affirmation of Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work heartily,as for the Lord and not for men.”


9 years ago

I believe that was me, and I have no idea why I said ‘Just Kidding’ other than the fact that it was a question that didn’t really fit into the flow of the conversation. But I apologize if I come across as taking the gospel lightly. Never meant to do that. To answer your rhetorical questions above: of course No. No one should apologize for asking such a question, and it is not ridiculous. Thanks for pointing it out so I can clarify.

John Stebbe

9 years ago

Thanks for the clarification, Jonathan. I didn’t know about this lady until I saw your podcast. I have since downloaded both her CDs from iTunes and am really enjoying them.




Email Newsletter


Reformed Forum
115 Commerce Dr., Suite E
Grayslake, IL 60030

+1 847.986.6140

Copyright © 2020 Reformed Forum