Honoring the Sick and Healthcare Workers

Today, we honor everyone who is sick, and healthcare workers all around the world

This week, I was thinking about all of the many people all over the world who are sick.  I have seen lots of articles about the “tri-demic,” meaning that right now, COVID, the flu, and RSV are prevalent, and many folks are getting sick as a result.  I myself got over a bad bug just last week and I ended up needing medication.  Many family members, friends, and acquaintances of mine are sick right now, and I feel concerned about them, especially my older relatives.  I have also been reading about many hospitals running out of hospital beds, due to the influx of sick children, and adults. The NY times reported that some medications, like Amoxicillin, are in short supply right now.  I felt scared, sad and surprise to read this.  I also felt simultaneous gratitude for all of the health care workers, who are not only dealing with the “tridemic” themselves, but serving and caring for others throughout, all the while being in harm’s way (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/23/health/drug-shortages-flu-holidays.html).

            I also read about the nurses in the U.K. being on strike, and felt very moved by reading about this (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/20/world/europe/britain-uk-strikes.html). I feel so much admiration for the nurses, and I feel anger on their behalf that they are not getting paid a living wage that keeps up with inflation.  I firmly believe that they do.  So, I wanted to include them in this week’s weekly meditation.  At Jazz Therapy, we stand in solidarity with the nurses in the U.K.  We admire the work they do, and hope the strike is over with a fair pay raise for them to close out the year.

We honor and salute the nurses on strike in the U.K. right now, and nurses who work tirelessly all around the world

Finally, I was thinking about how healthcare workers all over the globe really are unsung heroes.  As a collective, these past few years have been so trying and, I imagine, taxing for healthcare workers.  They are on the front lines, taking care of others and potentially getting sick because of that.  As I mentioned above, I got a bad bug and ended up needing medication to get better.  I went in person to see the doctor, and I was so grateful for the care that I received, and for modern medicine.  I felt so much gratitude for the care that I received, which got me thinking about and appreciating all healthcare workers.  If you know one, or you are close healthcare worker in your life, give them a hug and express your gratitude during this time.

Being sick is no fun. May everyone who is currently ill be healthy, happy, and well

          Finally, I am so grateful to have you here reading Jazz Therapy.  This project may be eccentric, but I think we are finding our way.  At Jazz Therapy, we aim to pair current events, meditation/spirituality, and jazz together.  This is how I deal with the news and keep myself fortified.  I hope that it may help you too. May Jazz Therapy soothe your soul.

Jazz Therapy Weekly Meditation: Honoring the Sick and Healthcare workers

In this week’s meditation, we will:

-Send healing energy to people all around d the world who are sick 

-Send positive energy to all nurses on strike in the UK, that they get the pay they deserve 

-Send positive energy to health care workers all over the world 

Jazz Therapy Playlist and Musical Commentary: Honoring the Sick and Healthcare Workers

This week, we honor the sick and healthcare workers all over the world. In choosing our jazz selections this week, we are featuring artists with birthdays this week, among them Woody Shaw, Fletcher Henderson, Bobby Timmons, and Chet Baker. I hope you enjoy!

Emotional Dwelling (To Mirror Your Mood)

“Stormy Weather,” Woody Shaw, Imagination, 1988.

Woody Shaw was one of the best and most influential trumpeters of the 20th century. I really only just learned more about him as a result of researching for Jazz Therapy, and I am so glad that I did.  This album was the last studio album that Shaw led, and he is absolutely on his game here.  I chose this song because it has a slightly bluesy, melancholy tone, and it is about missing someone.  The mood is how I feel when I am sick or think about someone else being sick-it just plain sucks.  Woody Shaw has an incredible trumpet solo here, where he innovates, improvises, and turns this classic jazz ballad into something entirely his own.

Emotional Elevation (To Feel Better)

“Sing You Sinners,” Fletcher Henderson, First Impressions, 1931.

Fletcher Henderson was an American pianist, composer, band leader, and arranger.  He was one of the most influential figures in early jazz, right up there with Duke Ellington.  Henderson helped bridge the gap between early “Dixieland” jazz to the swing era.  He did it with style, swing, and grace all the while.  I chose this tune since it has a tongue-in-cheek title, and it is a tightly arranged, swinging’ tune that will get your mood up and your finders snapping.  Though this album and song was originally recorded between 1924-1931, it sounds as classic as ever, cementing Henderson’s greatness in American jazz.

Emotional Reverie (To Dream and Remember)

“Strollin’,” Chet Baker, Live in London, Vol.2,

I chose this song for the dreamy quality it has, and it is also a live performance, in London.  Since we are honoring UK nurses this week, I thought it was the perfect choice.  This performance was recorded in March-early April in 1983, and Chet played with an all-British band on this album (https://www.amazon.com/Chet-Baker-Live-London-II/dp/B07C5HMXHN)

 The result is simply magnificent, and helped me to have an even deeper appreciation for Baker as a trumpeter, in addition to being a vocalist.

Emotional Tone Setting (To Intentionally Create an Emotional Vibe)

“White Christmas,” Bobby Timmons, Holiday Soul, 1964

I chose this Bobby Timmons tune to set the vibe for the Holiday season.  “White Christmas” is a classic holiday tune, one that we have all head many times.  In the true spirit of soul, innovation, and jazz, Timmons plays this tune and makes it fresh, new, light, and elegant, like the Holiday season you want to have.  The whole album is some holiday fire; listen to all of it to really appreciate this album.

Emotional Galvanization (To Inspire)

“Holiday Flight,” Art Pepper, The Art of Pepper, 1957

This album, recorded in 1957, is really my first introduction to Art Pepper.  In researching about him, I learned that he is an important figure in the rise of “West Coast” jazz and played often with Stan Getz.  When I first heard the song, it stopped me in my tracks and I said aloud “Who is this?” in the best way possible.  Beginning with a strong alto tax solo from Art Pepper, with other great solos from the ensemble, this piece is swinging and will have you up, moving, and wondering about what your own “Holiday Flight” might look like.  Is it an actual destination? Is it more “flight” to different a state of mind, of being upbeat, cheerful, and innovative? I hope so.  This tune is swingin’ and something special. Check out the whole album if you have the time.

Jazz Birthdays Each week, we will highlight birthdays of jazz performers around the world.  We are grateful they exist! http://jazzbirthdaycalendar.com

Fletcher Henderson (December 18, 1897 – December 29, 1952)

An arranger, composer, bandleader, pianist, and all-around innovator, Henderson is up there with Duke Ellington as a major figure in jazz (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher_Henderson).  He helped bridge the gap from early jazz to the swing era, in, well, swingin’ form.

Bobby Timmons (December 19, 1935 – March 1, 1974)

A jazz pianist and composer, Timmons played with Art Blakey for many years of his career.  His tune is so unique, deep, playful, and soulful.  I am glad to now know more about him and have him in my jazz repertoire.  Everything he touches, he makes different and elevates

Woody Shaw (December 24, 1944 – May 10, 1989)

 One of the most important trumpeters of the 20th century, Shaw was an incredible talent.  He evidently had perfect pitch and a near photographic memory to boot (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woody_Shaw).  I didn’t know much about him before this week, and now I am a big fan.

Call for Poetry

Are you a poet? We are accepting submissions for our weekly “Poetry Play” portion of the “Jazz Therapy” newsletter! Your poem could be about jazz, civil rights, or any current event/theme that might go along with each newsletter.  You will get free publicity and appreciative eyes from the readers of “Jazz Therapy!”

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas! Thank you for being here with us. Let us know how we could improve and what you want to see more of.

Merry Christmas!

Thank you for reading! Leave us a comment, subscribe, and share. May Jazz Therapy soothe your soul.


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