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Thursday, June 10, 2010

The President is Hipper than I am

I don't go around thinking I'm hip. My primary self image is as a father and as a fisherman, and neither of those is very hip. However, I'm used to being hipper than whoever is the American president. It's partly an age thing, but not completely. Music producer Ahmet Ertegun was in his 80's when he died, and he was probably the coolest and hippest man in the world. Bill Clinton tried for cool with his saxophone and dark glasses for a TV appearance in 1992, but his actual musical tastes were Fleetwood Mac who haven't been hip and cool in 30 years and Kenny G who was never and will never be hip and cool. Don't even think George W and hip at the same time because your brain will reject such an obvious contradiction. These two were the first presidents in my age bracket.

This subject is on my mind because a few days ago I discovered a jazz vocalist, bassist named Esperanza Spalding. Upon investigating videos of her on the Internet, I realized she performed at the White House last year. That President Obama was hip to her a year before I was should not be shocking to me, but it is. Esperanza also appeared on David Letterman, and after her performance Dave (who is exactly my age) said to sidekick and band leader Paul Shaffer (who will be hip his whole life), "You were right. She is the coolest guest we've ever had."

Why all the excitement about this young lady? Well, the string bass was my instrument so I can judge bass players with more intelligence than I can other musicians, and she is very good. She also sings and composes very well. Now, Pam thinks Esperanza got my attention mostly because she's sexy. Pam hasn't said this, but I know she is thinking it. Ok, Esperanza is obviously a lovely young lady, but it's her talent that is important to me. At least I think so.

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