I’m not a practitioner of homeopathy, although I have used some of its remedies with success. But I do know that a basic principle is “like cures like”: you suffer from too much heat, you take in a remedy that increases the heat. Bear with me.
In gloomy times like this, my first impulse is to share the most effervescent music I can find, and I suppose that might work for some listeners. But today I am taking a homeopathic approach: offer you some gloomy groovy sounds — and please do wait for the musical punchline!
These four eminent medical professionals got together for a consult on Saturday, March 7, under the auspices of the Jazz Bash by the Bay, in Monterey, California: Carl Sonny Leyland, piano, vocal, and moral enlightenment; Lakshmi Ramirez, string bass and mood-enhancement; Jeff Hamilton, drums and philosophical commentary; Jacob Zimmerman, alto saxophone and spiritual journeys. Under Doctor Leyland’s guidance, they performed a Dark Sonata in Bb, otherwise known as the Empty Room Blues, recorded by Memphis Slim in late 1940:
I don’t know why this makes me feel better. It would make me uncomfortable to think it was Schadenfreude — “Hey, someone’s got it worse and that’s wonderful!” — but perhaps it is the immense joy of hearing these artists bring such light-hearted expertise to a dark text. And the punchline makes me laugh.