In March 2020, I caught the last flight out of Moscow before the borders closed due to Covid-19 with no way of getting back to the U.S. Locked down in Europe and self-quarantined in isolation, I watched events around the world unfold. Wanting to contribute in some way, I reached out to my musical family online to do something to help heal and inspire. Bill Withers’ song “You Just Can’t Smile It Away” seemed perfect. It is a compellingly simple version, recorded online using new technology, with me playing saxophone, vocals by Yatron in Texas, keyboards by Jeremy Mage in Switzerland, synths by Jan Pulsford in London and mixed at Mothership Studios by Merlyn Bruce in the UK., resulting in my first release on Efficacy Recordings.
Chico Freeman – Tenor Sax
Yatron – Vocals
Jeremy Mage – Keyboards
Jan Pulsford – Synths
Mixed at Mothership Studios by Merlyn Bruce
Released on Efficacy Recordings
Photo by © Thrassos Irinis