As you probably know, a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Northern Syria and Turkey, resulting in the deaths of at least 7,900 people, with that number growing. (https://www.cnn.com/middleeast/live-news/turkey-syria-earthquake-updates-2-7-23-intl/index.html. Rescuers are doing their best to look for more survivors; this search is also compounded by cold winter weather. Survivors are left to grieve their loved ones, in the wake of this tragedy. The international community is pouring in aid to the regions, though the wake of devastation remains. Due to the complicated relationship the U.S. has with Syria, I read that it is possible not enough aid will reach the worn-torn country, a tragedy upon tragedy.
I felt shocked, saddened, and powerless to read about this earthquake. I felt sadness thinking about the thousands of people who died, and those who are left to grieve in their wake. I also thought about the ferocious power of Mother Nature, and natural disasters, and how we are subject to immense power of nature. I felt powerless, as to what I could do about this situation to help. There are many ways to send money to help with rescue and recovery efforts; TIME magazine’s website has a good list here: https://time.com/6253346/turkey-earthquake-syria-how-to-help/. But I know I can pray and meditate for all those affected. This always helps me, and may it help you as well. And let us listen to jazz.
Jazz Therapy Weekly Meditation
Meditation for Earthquake victims in Syria and Turkey
In this week’s meditation, we will:
-Send healing energy to Northern Syria (including those still alive who need rescue, first responders, and the government of Syria)
-Send healing energy to Turkey (including those still alive who need rescue, first responders, and the government of Turkey)
Jazz Therapy Playlist and Musical Commentary: Honoring victims of the earthquake in Syria and Turkey
Emotional Dwelling (To Mirror Your Mood)
“Nature Boy,” Nat King Cole, 1948?
This song is hauntingly beautiful, conveying the ache and pain of love lost, and yearning. It seemed to me to capture the essence of how I feel about the earthquake in Syria and Turkey: tragedy, and the survivors are left to mourn their loved ones. Nat King Cole was a virtuoso vocalist, and he also plays the piano in this version: hearing him is a balm for the soul. When he sings the lyrics “The greatest thing/You’ll ever learn/Is Just to Love/And be loved in return,” I feel so moved and reflect that these are really the basic tenets of life, and why we are hear on this earth-to love, and to be loved.
“Nature Boy,” Miles Davis Quintet, Blue Moods, 1955
I chose this piece since Miles’ version is also hauntingly beautiful, and captures the pain of loss in only the way that Miles can. I feel as though Miles could capture pain in a way that few others could; in his music, he communicates to us that he is right here with us. Charles Mingus is here on the bass, as well as Elvin Jones on the drums. Listen to these two versions of this song and let yourself be comforted.
Emotional Elevation (To Feel Better)
“Tain’t What You Do, It’s The Way That You Do It,” Chick Webb Orchestra and Ella Fitzgerald, org. recorded 1938
Here we get the fabulous Chick Webb orchestra, with poppin’ vocals by an young, talented Ella Fitzgerald. I love this song for the way you listen, and start to feel better almost instantly. Towards the end of the song, we even get to hear Ella scat a little bit, a preview of incredible prowess to come. The message of this song is that it is not about what deeds we do in life, but how we do them (with care, quality, and attention the goal) always reminds me to be more present in every aspect of life.
Emotional Galvanization (To Inspire)
“Midnight at the Madhouse,” Chick Webb and His Orchestra, 1938
This song, originally recorded in 1938, is a fine showcase for this talented American bandleader. He really could swing it, in fine form. Webb could not learn music, but memorized the arrangements and conducted his orchestra with grace and dedication. Listen to this piece, and you will feel energized, perhaps to donate to a charitable cause aiding Syria or Turkey, or even to move your body and snap your fingers.
Jazz Birthdays Each week, we will highlight birthdays of jazz performers around the world. We are grateful they exist!