JazzTimes

EVERYBODY HAD A Hard Year

After he lost his six-year-old daughter Ana in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, saxophonist Jimmy Greene didn’t find himself turning to any music in particular to find solace from the unfathomable loss. Yet his life to that point had involved familiarizing himself with thousands of pieces of music, and many of those inevitably echoed in his mind. One familiar standard took on a special new resonance in the aftermath of the tragedy.

“Early on in the grief process I found a lot of parallels to what I was going through in ‘Good Morning Heartache,’” Greene recalled recently. “The last line of the song is ‘Good morning heartache, sit down.’ I know the feeling of accepting the heartache. It’s not about pretending it’s gone, but about making space for this awful feeling that you have. You come to realize that it’s not going anywhere, but you accept that it is what it is and you have to deal with it. That’s right on the money as far as how I feel dealing with the ongoing grief from losing my daughter.”

While hardly comparable to the loss of a loved one, the burdens and sacrifices necessitated by the COVID-19 lockdown have evoked feelings of loss in many of us. Within the jazz community the pandemic has taken a significant human toll; among the more than 380,000 Americans lost to the virus (at the time of this writing) can be counted several of the music’s luminaries, including Ellis Marsalis, Wallace Roney, Bucky Pizzarelli, Henry Grimes, and Lee Konitz.

But there is also the ongoing impact on income and opportunities, and the seismic disruption of normal life, to contend with. The music industry, like so many corners

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