The Spirit of Jazz Podcast

Episode 33 - Not the Same Old Thing  

Jazz performances are different every single time! Even if forty percent of the music (or more) is written down, each fresh performance varies. Bill and Jeff explore this curious aspect of jazz as they listen to studio and live recordings of two tunes recorded by the Presbybop Quartet: “Welcome Home” and “Streams of Mercy.” 

“Welcome Home” has been recorded on the “Fragile Incarnation” and “Welcome Home” CDs. “Streams of Mercy” appears on the “Interior Window” CD. Both recordings © Presbybop Music (BMI). Used by permission. Archival copies of live performances © Presbybop Music (BMI). Used by permission.

Theme music: "All Thumbs" from Faith in a New Key, Bill Carter and the Presbybop Quartet
Music used by permission from Presbybop Music (BMI)
Announcer: Chris Norton

© Presbybop Music.

Episode 32 - Our Feet Began to Pray  

We welcome bassist David Chevan and pianist Warren Byrd. As co-founders of the Afro-Semitic Experience, they have created a dynamic ensemble rooted in the holy work of liberation. Whether they are updating African American spirituals, rearranging Jewish songs, or creating new music of their own, they will model what it means for jazz to address the work of justice. This show coincides with the long-awaited release of their album, “Our Feet Began to Pray.” Be sure to check it out at https://afrosemiticexperience.net/

Warren and David have given us permission to include two cuts from the album on our podcast:

  • “Unity in the Community” 
  • “My Feet Began to Pray” 

© The Afro-Semitic Experience. Music used by permission. Order the album at the link above!

Theme music: "All Thumbs" from Faith in a New Key, Bill Carter and the Presbybop Quartet
Music used by permission from Presbybop Music (BMI)
Announcer: Chris Norton

© Presbybop Music.

Episode 31 - New Wine for New Bottles  

At the beginning of a new year, Jeff and Bill discuss their big projects. CLASSIC VINYL JAZZ is Jeff’s new radio show on the internet. He loves going through the LPs in his attic and sharing them with a new generation. The show broadcasts on Friday nights from 9 to 10 p.m. eastern on WBDY-LP and repeated on Saturday mornings from 10 to 11 a.m. eastern (link below).

Bill unveils his book project, THRIVING ON A RIFF: JAZZ AND THE SPIRITUAL LIFE. It will be published on Broadleaf Books on April 23, 2024. We will be hearing more about the book.

To tune in to Jeff’s radio show, go to https://www.bundymuseum.org/wbdy.

To learn more about Bill’s book, go to https://presbybop.com/thriving-on-a-riff

Music in this episode: “Haunted Landscape,” Bill Carter and the Presbybop Quintet, from “Psalms Without Words.” 

Theme music: "All Thumbs" from Faith in a New Key, Bill Carter and the Presbybop Quartet
Music used by permission from Presbybop Music (BMI)
Announcer: Chris Norton

© Presbybop Music.

 

Episode 30 - Ho Ho Ho 2023  

In this special Christmas episode, Jeff Kellam tracks down Bill Carter on the Presbybop Quintet International Tour of New England. You will get a behind-the-scenes introduction to the music and good humor of a working jazz group. The band was performing holiday music to enthusiastic audiences, and clips of rehearsal and performance music fill the podcast. We are grateful to the following venues: 

  • Family Promise of Greater Concord, NH
  • Wolfeboro Friends of Music, Wolfeboro, NH
  • The First Baptist Church in America, Providence, RI
  • Schorr Family Firehouse Stage, Johnson City, NY

All music in the public domain, arranged and performed live by the Presbybop Quintet. 
Music clips include:

  • “Angels We Have Heard on High”
  • “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
  • “I Wonder as I Wander”
  • “What Child Is This”
  • “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”

Theme music: "All Thumbs" from Faith in a New Key, Bill Carter and the Presbybop Quartet
Music used by permission from Presbybop Music (BMI)
Announcer: Chris Norton

© Presbybop Music.

 

Episode 29 - Coming to You on the Airwaves  

On this episode, Jeff and Bill have a conversation with Chris Norton, senior vice president of WVIA-FM and a longtime friend of Presbybop Music. They discuss the current scene in jazz radio and the unique resource that radio has always been for creative music. Chris introduces us to Chiaroscuro jazz label, now owned by WVIA, and available online as a media stream. All three of them pay homage to George Graham, the legendary radio host and engineer at WVIA.

 

Featured links:

To listen to WVIA-FM: https://www.wvia.org/ 

To connect with Chiaroscuro or listen online: https://chiaroscurojazz.org/

To learn more about George Graham: https://georgegraham.com/

 

Theme music: "All Thumbs" from Faith in a New Key, Bill Carter and the Presbybop Quartet
Music used by permission from Presbybop Music (BMI)
Announcer: Chris Norton
(c) Presbybop Music

 

Bonus Episode - Jazz at Dawn  

Here are three more tunes to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Faith in a New Key, the first recording by the Presbybop Quartet.

Music: “Dawn Shall Break Again,” “A Canticle of Love,” and Amazing Grace,” all composed or arranged by Bill Carter and released on Faith in a New KeyBill Carter and the Presbybop Quartet. Music used by permission from Presbybop Music (BMI)

Theme music: "All Thumbs" from Faith in a New KeyBill Carter and the Presbybop Quartet
Music used by permission from Presbybop Music (BMI)
Announcer: Chris Norton
(c) Presbybop Music

Episode 24 - Behind the Music: Faith in a New Key  

On the 25th anniversary of its release, Bill and Jeff have a conversation about Faith in a New Key, the first recording of the Presbybop Quartet. Bill dishes on the background of the album. Where did it originate? Who were the players? How was the project financed? What was it like to record the music?  Along the way, they serve up a generous helping of jazz.

Music: "Presbybop," "Route 206," "Walking in Somebody Else's Footsteps," and "A Bridge Between", all composed by Bill Carter and released on Faith in a New Key, Bill Carter and the Presbybop Quartet. Music used by permission from Presbybop Music (BMI)

Theme music: "All Thumbs" from Faith in a New Key, Bill Carter and the Presbybop Quartet
Music used by permission from Presbybop Music (BMI)
Announcer: Chris Norton
(c) Presbybop Music

Episode 23 - Jazz Wakes Up for Worship  

As we begin Season 2, Jeff Kellam asks Bill Carter to speak about his work in syncopating Christian worship services. Bill has been at it for forty years, ever since he was a student pastor in New Jersey. Along the way, the co-hosts offer some musical samples as they explore a long and ongoing journey of welcoming jazz in the sanctuary.

Discover the "Swing a New Song to the Lord" jazz hymnal at www.presbybop.com.

You can find the film "Jazz Belongs in Church" at https://presbybop.com/jazz-belongs-in-church-dvd

Music: "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee," "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah," and "Down By the Riverside,"  (c) Bill Carter and the Presbybop Quartet. Unreleased material.

Theme music: "All Thumbs" from Faith in a New KeyBill Carter and the Presbybop Quartet
Music used by permission from Presbybop Music (BMI)
Announcer: Chris Norton
(c) Presbybop Music

 

Episode 22 - Improvising Is My Lifeline  

We conclude Season 1 of the Spirit of Jazz with a conversation with Donny McCaslin. Twice nominated for a Grammy for "Best Improvised Solo," Donny speaks about three musicians with whom he has performed and recorded: trumpeter Dave Douglas, composer Maria Schneider, and music icon David Bowie. Along the way he talks about the healing power of jazz in his own life. "Improvising has been my lifeline," he says.

Find out more about Donny at his website: https://www.donnymccaslin.com/

Check out his new album, "I Want More," available here on Edition Records.

Music: "Christmas Carol in G Minor," Bill Carter and the Presbybop Quartet with guest soloist Donny McCaslin, recorded at St. Peter's Lutheran Church, NYC

"Body Blow," Donny McCaslin, from "I Want More". Available  above and used by permission.

Theme music: "All Thumbs" from Faith in a New Key, Bill Carter and the Presbybop Quartet
Music used by permission from Presbybop Music (BMI)
Announcer: Chris Norton
(c) Presbybop Music

 

 

Episode 21 - Jazz as Good Humor  

Bagpipes, a bullfrog, an untuned diva, a fumbling virtuoso, an unfortunate drummer, bad road food, and a bebopper in a turban: jazz has the capacity to see life's idiocyncrasies and laugh about them. There is a lightness of spirit at the heart of improvised music. And the practicioners love to joke and laugh. In this episode, we explore the comedy of good jazz.

Want to hear more jazz comedy? We recommend Jazz Anecdotes by the bassist Bill Crow.

Featured music:
“Rumpelstiltskin" from Interior Window
Music used by permission from Presbybop Music (BMI)

Theme music: "All Thumbs" from Faith in a New Key, Bill Carter and the Presbybop Quartet
Music used by permission from Presbybop Music (BMI)
Announcer: Chris Norton
(c) Presbybop Music