Category Archives: Jazz


Faithful followers of this blog–both of you–will know that I’ve been writing a new jazz tune every week for my Thursday night gig at Euro Bistro. It has been great fun, and though I have no immediate need for a … Continue reading

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This week’s jazz tune is called “Jenopédie.” What does that mean, you wonder? Well, certainly you’ve heard Erik Satie’s iconic “Gymnopédie #1.” As I worked on my tune I realized that it shared the same opening chords as that piece. … Continue reading

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Susan’s Blues

I wrote a “Waltz for Ed” so it was only fair that I write a new tune for the other member of our jazz trio, Susan. It’s called “Susan’s Blues.” It starts with a bass groove (Ed and Susan felt … Continue reading

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Human, Being

I’ve been playing a lot more jazz bass lately, courtesy of a weekly gig at Euro Bistro. (Thursdays, 6-9pm, if you’d like to come.) The thing about me is that if I play a lot of a particular kind of … Continue reading

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Waltz for Ed

In recent months, I’ve had weekly bass gigs playing jazz at a local restaurant. Getting back into the swing (!) of playing jazz standards has inevitably led me to write a new tune for our group to play. Indeed, this … Continue reading

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“Joy Inside My Tears” at Calvin College’s Chapel

Paul Ryan periodically asks me to speak/sing at Calvin’s chapel. On January 14, 2019 my theme was “Joy Inside My Tears,” in which I explored the paradoxes of the Christian’s emotional life in scripture and song. Just in case you … Continue reading

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Very Happy Birthday to You

At some point, I may become known as “the guy who writes birthday odes in which death is a dominant theme.” So be it. The sooner you grapple with your mortality, the sooner you can get out there and truly … Continue reading

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Philippians 4:7 May the Peace of God

As I was working on Psalm 4, one of the commentaries I read mentioned the connection between Psalm 4’s deep peace amid distress and Philippians 4:7 “May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds … Continue reading

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My One and Only Valentine

What would Valentine’s Day be without songs of loneliness, delusion, and self-love? Won’t you be my Valentine? I’m so lonely all the time. You’re not perfect, but neither am I. Won’t you be my Valentine? You’re a man, but I … Continue reading

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Another Foothold

Update 10/2/20: Sheet music for this song can be downloaded here. I recently posted a quick demo of a new tune I wrote for Debra Rienstra’s sweet setting of Psalm 25. Yesterday we introduced the song to the congregation. It … Continue reading

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