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We’ve updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Faith in a New Key

by Presbybop Music

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes unlimited streaming of Faith in a New Key via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      $2 USD or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $7 USD  or more


Presbybop 03:18
Route 206 05:30
All Thumbs 04:47


Here is our very first CD, "Faith in a New Key: A Conversation between Jazz and Christian Faith," recorded in 1998.

Bill Carter is a jazz pianist and the primary composer/arranger for the Presbybop Quartet. Other musicians in the quartet, which Carter founded in 1993, include Al Hamme on saxophone, Tony Marino on bass, and Tom Whaley on drums. They are joined on the CD by vocalists Jacque Tara Washington and Carol Ann North.

The CD project was conceived when Princeton Seminary's Center of Continuing Education invited Carter and his quartet to perform at a summer Institute of Theology in 1997. That program, which included jazz arrangements for piano, saxophone, acoustic bass, and drums as well as Carter's reflections on the theology behind and within the music, became the kernel for the compact disc.

The disc includes ten musical arrangements, including jazz renditions of hymn tunes ("Be Thou My Vision" and "Amazing Grace" are two) and several of Carter's original compositions.

Among the latter are "Dawn Shall Break Again," a tune Carter calls "the most personal on the recording," written as he was "mulling over a long list of personal problems as the sun suddenly broke over the mountain in the back of my house," and he recalled the Advent text of Luke 1: 78; and "All Thumbs," an up-tempo blues piece written for a performance benefiting Habitat for Humanity.

Interspersed among the musical numbers are Carter's reflections on the relationship between the jazz art form and theology. "A faithful life begins and ends with the praise of God," says Carter. "In praise, we cut ourselves loose from all that enslaves us. The jazz form of music does this, too."

Bill Carter hopes the CD will help the church "to think creatively about the importance of the arts in ministry, and the place of jazz music in the church's worship. "


released October 1, 1998


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Presbybop Music Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

Presbybop Music is a musical venture of Bill Carter, jazz pianist and Presbyterian minister. After years of pretending to split the life of faith from the music of jazz, Bill has been trying to find links between the two halves of his brain. Presbybop Music is his attempt to integrate his strong Presbyterian faith with the rhythms of bebop. ... more

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