Democrats have more of an affinity for jazz than Republicans. Even Jimmy Carter, not everybody’s idea of a hipster, invited Dizzy Gillespie to the White House. But among the Democrats, President Obama is the one who comes closest to the style of bebop called “the Cool.”
Cool jazz is exemplified by the saxophone of Lester Young and his protégé Stan Getz; the trumpet of Miles Davis (especially on his 1957 album “Birth of the Cool”); the vibraphone of Milt Jackson and the song stylings of Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and June Christy.
Like the president, cool musicians carried themselves with a regal bearing. Some members of the generation before them had to engage in minstrel-like antics to make a living. Cool musicians demanded respect, and when attacked didn’t blow up, but, like the president, responded stoically. One of his favorite words is “persistence,” the attitude of his hero, the saxophonist Sonny Rollins, the greatest surviving bebopper.
Gurrgh. Urrrrp. Yuck.