The classic hymn "Nearer, My God, to Thee" is often used in solemn circumstances, most notably (at least according to rumor) during the sinking of the Titanic. The text, however, captures a balance between solemnity and celebration, suffering and mercy, death and new life. In adapting it for jazz big band, I found myself thinking about New Orleans jazz funeral parades, which also feature that same odd contradiction between grief and joy, through the use of the blues. I won't claim this is in any way authentic New Orleans jazz, but it does try to say some of the same things, and I hope you enjoy it. Written for standard jazz big band, with lots of room for open solos by the blues-inclined.