Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bringing 9/11 reflection to jazz

Saxophonist Tom Ellison didn’t mention the date at tonight’s jam session at Allegro Bistro in Venice FL. He didn’t have to. But he found a way through his music to bring remembrance to this 11th anniversary of 9/11.

He selected a song written by a man with New York connections - comic actor, director and composer Charlie Chaplin. If you measure it by title alone, “Smile” would seem an odd choice. But Ellison made sure to first sing the lyrics at this edition of the South County Jazz Club weekly jam session.

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking.
When there are clouds in the sky  
you'll get by.

If you smile through your pain and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through
For you.
Light up your face with gladness,
Hide every trace of sadness.
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying

Smile, what's the use of crying.
You'll find that life is still worthwhile -
If you just smile.

Then, morphing into an instrumental balladeer, Sarasota-based Ellison delivered a poignant  tenor sax solo that in its own way also sang of sadness and gladness.


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