The Corona Blues

The coronavirus has disrupted the lives of musicians all over the world, bringing performances, rehearsals, and recording to a complete halt. Michigan has been hit hard, and the worst outbreak is in Detroit and surrounding areas, endangering the lives of many of our jazz musicians. With deep concern for the people we love and admire we reached out to three major jazz players of different generations, to learn how they were coping with the pandemic. LB spoke with Vincent Chandler and George Davidson, while PM conducted a conversation with Michael Malis.

George Davidson

Drummer George Davidson is a well-known musician in the Detroit jazz world having been a sideman to many, with long stints with Aretha Franklin and as part of the Ron Brooks Trio, and more recently leading his own bands.

Davidson has had fellow percussionist Alberto Nacif as his physician for the last couple of years. Nacif by the way, also advises pianist Rick Roe and bassist Kurt Krahnke on medical matters and he helped trumpet legend Marcus Belgrave some years ago. Nacif was very direct with Davidson a month ago: stay home for three months or else, he told him. It turns out Davidson’s health is seriously compromised in the present context by a case of COPD. His family and some friends have had serious cases of COVID-19 and his neighborhood in Northwest Detroit has very high rates of the virus.

As serious as Davidson’s situation seems to be, he takes it in stride: “We will overcome this and keep our foot on the accelerator,” and then refers to one of the songs recorded by his alma mater, the Paul Butterfield blues band, “So Far, So Good.” Davidson also keeps up his chops and his spirit by practicing on his drums regularly.