The Jazz Mass project began in 1978 when then-pastor of the Presbyterian Church of the Mountain, Bill Cohea agreed to perform COTA Founder Richard Chamberlain’s wedding if, in exchange, Chamberlain would create a “jazz mass”. Chamberlain took the commission to heart and enlisted the help of other talented writers; David Ellis, Wolfgang Knittel, and Mark Kirk, and they developed what has come to be known and loved over the last 37 years as “The Jazz Mass”.
In 1995, Chamberlain and Eric Doney again enlisted the help of many talented musicians, friends and community, to record the mass in order to offer the CD for sale. Wolfgang Knittel arranged the charts for JARO (Jazz Artists Repertory Orchestra) and all the musicians agreed to record it. Kent Heckman at Red Rock Studios engineered and mixed it, Bob Hartman led the choir, Eric Doney produced it at Pacific Street Records, Terrence Gaughan contributed his graphic prowess to the liner notes and design, and a thing of beauty was produced! The CD sold out over the years, and helped raise a significant amount of money for COTA’s Fund for Young Musicians.
Over the years we have had many inquiries about its availability. This year, one year shy of the 20th year anniversary of the initial release, Chamberlain decided it was time to again make this recording available. He enlisted the help of some of the younger generation on the scene, with Jonno Rattman giving the CD a new look, and Jay Rattman preparing all of the scores to be available for sale online in the near future. Kent Heckman, with his ever-amazing talents, has re-mastered the original tapes and it is here now, available to be enjoyed once again by fans old and new…
The CD will be available at the festival COTA Booth on Saturday and Sunday, and may also be purchased online at www.cotajazz.org.