I’ve started this blog in association with my forthcoming book, Spirits Rejoice! Jazz and American Religion (Oxford University Press, likely spring 2015).
There are hundreds of pages worth of material (anecdotes, interviews I’ve conducted, entire sections) that didn’t make it into what will already be a big ol’ book. So this blog will allow me a place to post some of these materials or write more, should there be interest from my end and from potential readers.
But the main purpose of doing this is to create an extensive, chapter-by-chapter listening guide for readers of the book. I’ve written these chapters while listening to the music I was writing about, hoping that something of the style and the history of a particular scene or individual would inflect my writing about their resonance in American religions. I can’t imagine a better way for a reader to engage the book than to listen along, too.
I’ll also be writing more extensive discographical entries and listening guides. And who knows: in time I may write about music and religion more broadly.