Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Finally Steanso finds a church that he might feel comfortable in....
The St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church has been in existence in the Fillmore District in San Francisco since 1971. Bishop Franzo King (officially ordained a bishop in 1982 by the African Orthodox Church, which also recognizes legendary jazz saxophone player John Coltrane as a saint) started the church after experiencing what he refers to as a "spiritual experience" during a 1965 Coltrane concert in San Francisco. The musical focus of the church comes from the latter period of Coltrane's life and career, when the musician dedicated much of his work as a homage to God (including "A Love Supreme"). The church serves food to the homeless and engages in some activities which might be considered more typical for a small church, but its liturgy typically consists of hours worth of Coltrane music, from both recordings and live musicians.

Anyway, Steanso likes the idea of music being a kind of mystical force that can jolt you out of your everyday sense of reality and bring you closer to some kind of cosmic awareness (and thus, if he's out there, closer to God). Steanso is willing to believe that if there ever were a handful of musicians on the face of the planet who possessed the ability to create such transcendental music, John Coltrane was probably one of them (and, yes, the man struggled with heroine addiction and other problems, but as with other great musicians, such struggles seem to have somehow only made his music that much more heartfelt and remarkable rather than having diminished it). I guess, in short, Coltrane had a crazy genius to his music that made it truly unique, and if his inspiration was a sort of divine madness, then Steanso is probably more impressed by the divinity in those songs than by the words of a thousand ranting preachers.
Keep up the good work, St. John Coltrane. It's makes me smile just to know that such a church exists.


The League said...

THis sounds like a much better deal than the church in my neighborhood that worships Cameo.

lee said...


Like beer, I think jazz is proof that God exists, that he loves us, and that he wants us to be happy.

And it don't stop...

The League said...

Word up, Lee.

Cobra Kai Dojo said...

Mad props to Stuemke!!!

We just need Zigrossi on here and the we can recreate the "Band Trip of Infamy," sponsored by Jack Daniels.

I'd go to church more frequently if they played "Blue Train" instead of some of the wretched hymns. I hear at the Church of the Poisoned Mind they play a lot of good tunes. If you like Culture Club. (And really....who doesn't???)

Palka,The Karma Chameleon
"I'm a man without conviction"