Healing Hands of Doc Jazz (@docjazzmusic) – Palestinian Surgeon Sings Songs of Freedom

by Kevin Kearney | http://xokk.net | April 2, 2013

Author548482I was recently asked to work on a couple of tracks for a client who contacted me via a friend who didn’t have the time himself. The client wanted his songs mastered and polished up. He sent me four tracks, all professionally mixed and ready for the mastering process, which in itself is pretty rare considering the mostly junk I get sent these days from bedroom producers who know very little about what is actually required to produce a professional audio master. I played the tracks back a couple of times; I was somewhat impressed as to the quality of both, recording and song writing. These were really good commercial songs but I was curious about the lyrics. One track was called ‘Healing Hands’ it reminded me of a Carlos Santana song from the late 70’s, it certainly had the same type of feel to it. I sat down and listened further.

At first I couldn’t figure out what he was singing about, although I understood every word he was singing. Initially I thought it could be religious, with the title of Healing hands etc. So, I decided to investigate further and looked him up on the internet; he was assuming the name of Doc Jazz but his real name was Tariq Shadid. I found his website and I was pretty blown away by what I came across. This guy was the Musical Intifada for Palestine! A hospital surgeon who also writes and produces his own music! I began to read deeper into Doc Jazz. There was a ton of information on his website about Palestine, and the freedom of, himself as doctor, news and political events and a catalogue of his songs, many of which were about freedom, peace and love and the land he would never be allowed to live in.

I felt strangely drawn to his message and I was certainly impressed with his skills as a musician. I read that he played all the instruments himself, and believe me, he played them well. I tried to picture this man, a surgeon in a white coat, so a guy who obviously cares about people and their wellbeing. The photo of him on the home page confirmed the image I had already formed, although, he wasn’t wearing a white coat. He was however standing, eyes closed and obviously singing his message out to a crowd of thousands.

I spent around an hour on his website reading his articles and listening to his music, I had forgotten about what I was supposed to be doing i.e. mastering his tracks, and became totally involved in Doc Jazz! I smiled to myself; here was a guy who really meant what he said, his conviction and belief, the medium he chose to out his message, all were in total harmony with each other. I have been an engineer for over 25 years and rarely have I heard music played and sung with such conviction. Yes, there are many love songs, songs about this and that, but not many written with such depth and meaning as I heard from Doc Jazz’s back log of over one hundred songs. Also the styles in which he was writing, not just Jazz, but heavy rock, some very funky tracks, reggae, blues, ballads, you name it, he had written music in just about every style going. He managed to incorporate indigenous instruments without making it obvious too. Instruments like the Oud and the shibbabeh, the Palestinian Flute, blended into a deep funky beat, creating a mystical musical marriage of ethnic cultures.

I am pretty old school, I like music written and played by people, music where the lyrics mean something or strike a personal chord. Another of his tracks was called ‘Say It’ a ballad played on just a piano and sung so sweetly he almost had me in tears. Doc Jazz, I stand in awe of your musical ability and conviction. How was it possible that a doctor from Palestine was writing these amazing songs? I decided to write to him before I started mastering, just to get an insight into this man. I emailed him with a few questions about his tracks, although I already had the answers as they were technical and not real questions anyway. I told him briefly that I had visited his website and was totally blown away by what he was doing, in all aspects, surgeon, musician, freedom fighter and peaceful protester. He immediately wrote back with a rather humble letter. It was apparent that he didn’t really care if he sold his music and that his only concern was getting his message out there using music as the vehicle, and that he wanted it sounding as professional as possible. He kept it short and sweet and thanked me for my cooperation in mastering his music.

I did the best job possible and upon receiving the final masters, he emailed me, thanking me from the bottom of his heart. His sincerity was abundant and crystal clear. I felt quite good about myself that I had somehow joined the Musical Intifada and participated in helping Doc Jazz get his message out there. I wrote this article because I truly believe that there is great music being missed out on and that Doc Jazz needs to be heard. He is truly a musician’s musician and a song writer with a heart and soul whose main concern is that of helping people with his healing hands and fighting for freedom! I urge you to visit his website and listen for yourself: http://www.docjazz.com/

Follow Doc Jazz at twitter

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