September 6, 2009
Old South Church
You can hear the smoky piano notes and saxophone riffs from the sidewalk, floating out of Old South Church on Boylston Street. Inside, worshippers’ feet tap to strains of Billie Holiday and Duke Jordan. Willie Sordillo, sax in hand, bends and sways. Every Thursday at 6 p.m., Old South offers Jazz Worship featuring the soulful melodies of the Willie Sordillo Trio. Sordillo -- a trim, soft-spoken man in oversized glasses -- has been playing at the church since 2005. A minister delivers lilting sermons to the beat of the blues.
I’m neither religious nor a churchgoer, but I felt comfortable sitting out the Communion offering and letting the music and the soft glow from candelabras lull me into a kind of trance. The program distributed at the chapel door says it well: “As we come from the usual pace of life in and around Boston into this worship space, we invite you to leave behind the distractions of everyday life.” The service tends to draw crowds of over 70 people. Many -- as I did -- wander in from the bustle of Copley Square, and stay. Laura Bennett