Monday, July 26, 2004

Re-Birth of the Cool

No, this post is not about the early-90's Gerry Mulligan CD of that name, but rather a celebration of the fact that Casa de Kev once again has air conditioning. With camp finished, the guy was able to come over this afternoon and make pretty quick work of fixing things. The timing couldn't have been better--it was an unseasonably cool (60's) night here last night, so the house was at a comfortable 80 degrees for morning lessons...that's only two degrees warmer than I usually keep the place. As Angie's dad had guessed, the culprit was in fact the blower motor in the outside unit. The fix-it guys were in and out in an hour, interrupting lessons only the slightest bit, and now things are starting to get back to normal over here.

But since I mentioned the Mulligan CD, I do encourage all jazz fans to check it out. It's basically a revisiting of the classic Miles Davis Birth of the Cool charts with as many of the surviving players as possible, along with some intriguing substitutions (Phil Woods replacing Lee Konitz, for one). Since it's a bari player's album, Mulligan has more solos; the tracks are also sequenced differently from the original. One definite bonus is the presence of a much better singer on the vocal rendition of "Darn That Dream." If you can only own one "Cool" collection, go for the original, for sheer historical value if nothing else...but if there's room for more, this is a more-than-worthy addition.

A double trifecta of the healthy kind: Congratulations to Lance Armstrong, onetime Planonian and occasional Austinite, who rode into history yesterday by winning his sixth Tour de France by the convincing margin of over six minutes. I'm really hoping that next year, when the Discovery Channel takes over sponsorship of the current U.S. Postal cycling team for which Lance rides, the Tour will once again be available on basic cable...say, perhaps, the sponsoring channel itself? Or would that make too much sense?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Many people ask the question, 'How is that possible?' It's a great question, and it's easy to derive sensational answers. What do you do on a Christmas Day? January 1? Are you riding a bike? It's a full-year commitment; that's our secret."--Lance Armstrong, on how he wins the Tour consistently without doping. It also sounds a whole lot like the practice regimen that Halfling and I just pledged ourself to last week, so maybe the eventual reward is....a tour of France? At any rate, I do expect to have a horn in my hand come Christmas, and New Year's too, whether or not I have a gig.

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