CELEBRATING
50 YEARS

Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and Many More “Spread a Smile”

60 artists from around the world join forces for pandemic-prompted music video

Chick Corea at the 2018 Detroit Jazz Festival
Chick Corea at the 2018 Detroit Jazz Festival (photo: Marek Lazarski)

As we’ve noted elsewhere, this year’s International Jazz Day is chock full of online events of all sorts. If you’re looking for a little something more—maybe a palate-cleanser in between courses—you might want to check out the “Spread a Smile” music video. It’s another painstakingly edited Zoom-gang creation bearing a positive message to those in quarantine, the type of thing that’s been multiplying across the internet for weeks. The lyrics are pretty clever as these things go; its opening couplet is “Let’s talk about something that ain’t dangerous/How about this?” and the chorus urges listeners to “Spread a smile/Not something else/’Cause this world is really needing your help/Spread a smile/And nothing more/And we’ll show this world it can be restored.”

But the most noteworthy point about this video for JazzTimes readers is that it happens to feature some pretty notable jazz players: Chick Corea tosses in a slick synth solo, Stanley Clarke keeps the bassline funky, and Mark Isham throws in some trumpet obbligatos. Those musicians make up just three of 60 participating musical artists, including Smash Mouth leader Greg Camp, Israeli troubadour David Broza, percussionist Roger Nunn, and orchestator David Campbell. 

What do all these folks have in common, besides a wish to lift viewers’ spirits? They all worked in collaboration with Scientology Media Productions to create the video. But rest assured, there’s no proselytizing going on here, just good vibes for troubled times. Check out “Spread a Smile” here.