Yesterday there was no Christmas in Bethlehem


John Coltrane Quartet – “Alabama”


Pastor Munther Issac,
Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church
in Bethlehem
December 23, 2023

Yesterday there was no Christmas in Bethlehem.

That’s not the name of a song.

It’s a simple statement of fact.

Every year, I look forward to releasing the Christmas “mix tape” because I like the idea of bringing happiness to people.

The flip side is I can’t ignore the misery and sorrow of others.

This year, halfway through Christmas morning, my wife asked if we could turn the music off and I had to agree with her.

Our family came over later and we had a good time with them, but somehow playing celebratory music did not sit right with us this Christmas.

Sixty years ago, this past September 15th, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama was bombed by some deranged, hate-filled people, killing four young African-American girls.

The murders rightly shocked the conscience of a nation.

The perpetrators and their supporters (the first one wasn’t jailed until 14 years later) justified their crime as “protecting their way of life.”

This Christmas, as of this writing, 110 mosques and three Christian churches have been bombed in Gaza. More than 20,000 civilians have been killed, over half children with over 200 people killed in the last 24 hours alone.

For the wounded, there are no working hospitals, no medical clinics, no ambulances, and over 300 medical personnel killed. 1.2 million Gazans (4 out of 5) are now homeless and the UN has stated “there is no safe place in Gaza.”

These are the facts.

Every September 15, we play John Coltrane’s “Alabama” in memory of the lives of the four innocent little girls murdered in Birmingham.

Today we play it along with a sermon from Pastor Munther Issac of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem.

I don’t know what we can do to help given the monstrous indifference of our governments and news media, but we can start by not averting our eyes from this great evil and speaking out clearly against it.

The day the first child was injured this should have been stopped.

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

Mahmoud Chouki – Caravan

“Instead of staying three or four days in New Orleans, I ended up staying almost three weeks. And yeah, I started hanging out with the musicians, jamming, and yes, that’s how I fell in love with this city. I remember I went to Austin just to take a flight back.
 
I moved to New Orleans and a year later I went to Europe for a tour with my band. As soon as I started playing, everybody looked at me and said, “You changed, completely.” I didn’t see that actually, but I feel like when I moved to New Orleans, I removed a lot of chains. I became more free. I don’t calculate my music as much. I grew up in a culture that calculated music, and calculated notes. But here, everything is free. Everything is easy. I gained confidence. I began writing music here. Musicians are amazing here. There’s so, so much talent. And I’m so happy to be here, surrounded by these artists. Everything I write, it sounds beautiful, and that’s because of the generosity and the love and dedication that the musicians have here.
 
It’s an interesting thing because I don’t play jazz. I’m not a jazz musician. I’m a composer and most of my music, it’s a mixture of many influences, like North African and Middle Eastern, Spanish, Latin, and now there’s jazz. It became a part of my music. It gives my music a lot of breathing room. Freedom.”
 
– Mahmoud Chouki

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

P.S. Our unique programming is made possible by help from people like you. Learn how you can contribute to our efforts here: Support Jazz on the Tube
Thanks.

Jerry Wexler recalls growing up as a jazz kid

One of the great record producers, Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records, recalls growing up as a jazz kid in New York City when jazz was rocking and what it was like to run an indie label during the golden age of LPs.

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

P.S. Our unique programming is made possible by help from people like you. Learn how you can contribute to our efforts here: Support Jazz on the Tube
Thanks.

George Benson on Wes

Enjoy this absolute treasure of a story. (7 minutes)

George Benson tells how his teenage self was inspired by hearing Wes Montgomery and the big lift he got from Buddy Montgomery.

This video is from the YouTube channel “Further Wes Bound.”

Straight from the man himself

Wes Interview – Part One

Wes Interview – Part Two

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

P.S. Our unique programming is made possible by help from people like you. Learn how you can contribute to our efforts here: Support Jazz on the Tube
Thanks.

Roderick Paulin and Friends

Historian Al Kennedy, whom we recently interviewed, suggested that we should interview Roderick Paulin if we want to be up-to-date on the best of New Orleans music education efforts.

We will be conducting an interview with Roderick, but in the meantime, we wanted to show you some of his impressive work.

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

P.S. Our unique programming is made possible by help from people like you. Learn how you can contribute to our efforts here: Support Jazz on the Tube

Subscribe to Jazz on the Tube

Jazz on the Tube is the largest annotated and indexed online collection of jazz videos on earth - and it's free. 

We have THREE OPTIONS to help de-clutter your mail box, but still keep the great music coming.

You have Successfully Subscribed!