Instrumental Jazz

 

These tunes were born of the conviction that instrumental music has the God-ordained power to alleviate suffering from the mind and spirit.

 

Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.

1 Samuel 16:23

 

Tasty instrumental compilations featuring feathered bass drum and toms; intended guitar bends that are not done to overkill; gentle hammers that don't smash; rich riffs and windy brass; tight bass guitar complimented by soothing keys.

 

A word about the guitar stylings.  Keith plays the Breedlove Atlas AD25.  The ear will grab subtly the pinched top notes and instrument body echoes.  He prefers a little bit of dusty guitar, not quite muddy, but you will have to knock the dirt off.  Leave the fret noise in.  Just a dab of reverb.  Keep the rest.  Every once in a while there is just the slightest lag on the solo.  Music old school, real, not too quantized!

 

Elisha replied, "Now bring me someone who can play the harp."  While the harp was being played, the power of the LORD came upon Elisha.

2 Kings 3:15

 

This album is gonna' do something to you.  Careful, contagious, watch that repeat button. 

 

GoldSash is releasing new music constantly.  Be alerted when a new tune is released by receiving the Wearing Honor Blog.  Be sure to sign up on our homepage. 

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The music collection on the album Eskaton is a dainty jazz sampler platter.  Enjoy.

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ESKATON

Buy Eskaton now on Amazon

Enjoy the jazz stylings of musicalogionary Keith Howard.  Relish the bending strings of his Breedlove Atlas AD25.  Sometimes the guitar weeps.  You may purchase individual songs in downloadable .mp3 format.  The album Eskaton includes ten cuts: En Cielo; Isaac's Last Laugh; Loyal Love; XIN3OHd; the title piece Eskaton; Latin Atkins; Elijah's Whirlwind; Soliloquy; Sundance and Happy Fingers.

You can read the stories and inspirations behind each instrumental song below.

En Cielo

Loosely interpreted, "In Heaven" this Spanish guitar piece emphasizes a hope for the perfect state where there will be no more suffering or disease.  Death itself will be swallowed, and peace will be perfected.  There's a breathy background vocal that disappears from the tune and is taken over by another wind instrument.  When I wrote it I felt it expressed the spirit leaving the body in an explosion of joy, that very moment of making heaven one's home.  The truth is we are not guaranteed seeing one another again.  But we can be together forever En Cielo.

Sundance

An aired out bonesy slide mimics the crisp guitar motif.  Gentle fingered fretboard riffs slather out the muted guitar solo.  The vibrato brass and vibrating string of Sundance are like captured fireflies in a summer time jar.  These lightning bugs deliver surprising snaps of light.  I just know you're gonna' like this tune.

Now no one can look at the sun, bright as it is, in the skies after the wind has swept them clean.  Job 37:21

Isaac's Last Laugh

Musically, the French Horn gets stretched way beyond its classical comfort zone and finds itself tangled in a dual with the Clarinet for background rights.

The scriptures speak of the fear of Isaac.  It is a statement of the respect due Almighty God.  Isaac's name means he laughs.  His parents Abraham and Sarah laughed when they heard he would be born.  Sarah tried to hide her unbelieving laugh, but it wasn't hidden from God.  Abraham, however, had nothing to hide.  It's just crazy to have a baby when you're that old.  The fear of Isaac becomes a metaphor for the victory of God.  In this piece hear the reverberations of Isaac's hardy chortle.  Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld ends his theology, Recovering Jesus, with the words "God finally has the last laugh over injustice and oppression, over sin, and even over death."  Isaac's Last Laugh is an expression of God's ultimate win.  In the end God laughs loudest and longest.

The one enthroned in heaven laughs. Psalm 2:4

 

Soliloquy

Titled after the form of acting in which the performer is on the stage all alone, Soliloquy is dedicated to ministerial leaders who continually and sacrificially yield center stage to Jesus.  John Baptist said, "He must increase, but I must decrease"  (John 3:30).

This tune is set to the ambience of a lamentation.  You will hear the guitar weep.  Written during a very difficult stretch in the journey of a faith child, the strings bend but don't break. The weepy strings fuse with muted trumpet and English horn.

The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit? Proverbs 18:14

Eskaton

A folksy reflection berthed in a season in which chaos was stopped, a true Sabbath moment with no deadlines pressing, or ultimatums looming.  It yielded hope of the peace age to come.  The word Eschaton speaks of last things.  It is the endless era in which Jesus' dominion is irrevocably actuated.

Hans Schwarz writes in his Eschatology, "Lasting hope cannot come from within us.  Though we can always achieve temporary victories in pursuing our future, ultimately death will stare us in the face.  When we give account of the hope that is in us, we can only do so because it has been placed in us from beyond our time-bound world.  A tenable hope for the future cannot rest on us but must be warranted by the God who created the world, sustains it, and will redeem it."

Compositionally, Eskaton images the Stride Strummer as he walks into the Shire of Sound with his Slide Whistle dangling from the tattered rope around his neck. As he beckons the first cottage it appears the Soprano of Saxony will venture out, but he quickly ducks back inside.  However, it is only a temporary respite to retrieve his rhythm guests who now emerge to join the song.  From across the cobble path, Trump of Mute hints participation.  And once Clari of Improv knods, the entire village decides to come out and play.  The Winds of Trill blow accenting the climb to the apex of the hamlet's border, rising and rising to the climax.  Now, simplicity settles, resolve rests, enter eternal age.  This piece models the epochs reaching their culmination in Christ.

After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice.  John 10:4

Happy Fingers

Happy Fingers, happy feet too, but they can't play the guitar.  This islands' sounding theme weaves interesting modulations with creative pivot notes to segue the melody as it ferries safely to the other side of the key change.  A very rhythmic and bouyant piece vibrating the guitar body with echoes.  The melody is accompanied in triplicate by wood and brass.

Listen carefully and you'll hear the remnants of a 70s TV theme song embedded in the song's ending.  It might even be a little obvious. Yeah, I dunno' - just the way my little mind works.  Maybe a subliminal statement cuing effects of urban sprawl upon television suburia... or could just be a nutty guy with carte blanche writing rights.  Most likely the latter and not the former!  Anyhoooo....perhaps we are the Second Addams Family. Huh, huh? Nudge, poke, wink.  Get it, get it?

Latin Atkins

What is Latin Atkins?  Don't get nervous.  We're not counting carbs.  The title simply reflects the feel of the song.  There are moments in the music when the finger picking pattern reminds me of sensational country guitarist Chet Atkins, the phenom.  But when I throw in that one 5/4 measure and contrast the minor mode against the melody, it suddenly takes on Latino characteristics.  The juicy rhythm seasons the saucy sax.  You'll need a steady diet of Latin Atkins.

I dedicate this song to my late Uncle Vaughn Dalrymple.  He left this earth way too soon.  Today he is En Cielo.  What an amazing guitarist!  I have memories of my brothers and I sitting at his feet when church was done, listening to him create, absolutely mesmerized.  In eternity, our family is going to make some kind of music up there.

"And they sang a new song before the throne." Rev. 14:3

XIN3OHd

The title, XIN3OHd, pronounced zinth-ree-ode, is a culmination of my years of study in Greek and Hebrew, brought to bear upon life experience.  It must always maintain an element of mystery.  Its truth discovered will turn the city upside down.  The music conveys that mystery.  It is a very complex jam.  4/4 yeilds to 12/8 only to discover the original 4/4 embedded inside.  It is next to impossible to keep your head from bobbing as it sorts out the rhythm.  If you enjoy the sweet dissonance of the Major 7th chord, you'll like the melodic harmony of the Jazz Clarinet and Soprano Sax.  They first solo, then share the melody line, split to fuse a jamnation, and ultimately unify their one voice in the end.

Loyal Love

Loyal Love is a musical expression of the God's never dying, endless love. A popular Old Testament maxim is the Hebrew word hesed.  It is translated variously - loving kindness, favor, goodness, merciful, good deed, in a word, Loyal Love.  This kind of love can only come from God.  His Loyal Love is a motif of scripture from beginning to end.  The gentle strings lure the tempo along.  At times classical persuasion ebbs in before recapturing the flow of obvious jazz licks.  Listen to the song with an enrapt ear.  Know God cares for you with a Loyal Love.

Elijah's Whirlwind

The only keyboard driven song on the album.  The rolling keys nudge the rhthym.  However, guitar is still the feature as nice riffs are flanked by sass brass and pan flute.  A foggy vocal hovers over the surface of teh sound.  The metaphor that has been a theme throughout the album is carried forward in this piece too.  God's dealings with Israel are modeled in his choosing the people of Israel as his own.  One prominent prophet, Elijah, left the earth in a fiery chariot riding on the wings of the cyclone.  The whirlwind typifies the hope of believers, snatched, carried away, raptured to be with the Lord forever.  This hope is, in the words of the apostle Paul, a very encouraging event.  believers not already En Cielo are chauffeured in the stylings of Elijah's Whirlwind, riding on the wings of the wind.

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