10 July 2007

The Common Thread of Jazz, Gin, and Scrambled Eggs

With a title like that it looks like I've dug myself in pretty deep. Should be some crazy fantastic writing to dig myself out of that hole.

Anyways, the Theme today is Things That You Don't Remember How Much You Like Until You Experience Them Again. Jazz is very much like that, a form of music that I find intellectually interesting but generally boring EXCEPT when I am either playing it or listening to it. I find myself avoiding the "low FM" jazz stations when perusing the radio, meekly consenting to be aurally assaulted by another overplayed rock anthem on KY/FOX, but on those times I put in my Hal Melia CD, queue up a Miles Davis MP3, or switch over to crappy low FM jazz stations, I think, wow, this is what I've been missing. You forget the appeal of jazz pretty swiftly after you listen to it. At least I do.

Likewise scrambled eggs. When you've got a freaking carton of eggs in the fridge that will soon go bad, they sound like a practical option of cheap protein that would otherwise be wasted, but not a terrifically appealing dinner. But with a sufficient amount of cracked black pepper and a fiery enough salsa, they aren't bad. Aren't exactly wonderful, so maybe a bad example.

Which brings me to my last example...Tanqueray Rangpur, a new bottling of the famous Tanqueray Gin. This variant is fairly interesting because of the new ingredients it utilises; bay leaves, ginger, and a fruit erroneously called "rangpur lime". The rangpur is a hybrid of mandarin orange and lemon from Asia that offers a lime like flavour and aroma. Tanqueray Rangpur is lower in alcohol than normal Tanqueray, and all in all, it has a very soft and pleasing palate that doesn't need to be buried in a tall glass of tonic water. I'm not an "on the rocks" guy with spirits, usually preferring them served neat at room temperature, but that doesn't extend to white spirits such as gin and vodka...this gin seems to be at its best, in my opinion, with no mixers, no lime juice, no bitters, just on the rocks. Anyway, my point is, it is one of those spirits that is quite complex and rewarding, like jazz. The aroma is subtle and balances the traditional botanicals (read: juniper, juniper, and more juniper) of a London Dry with some more complex elements. The idea of a "lime flavoured gin" could be off-putting to some people, burnt by the nasty flavoured vodkas that are all the rage now, but it should be stressed this is not the same sort of product, a distilled spirit that is then flavoured with additives...on the contrary, the flavourings are added at the traditional times, like the juniper and other botanicals, before the final distillation. So what is bottled is the pure distilled product (probably cut with water to bottle strength, naturally), not a quasi-liqueur made with a base spirit and flavourings. Enough about the process; I just wanted to illustrate that something that does not sound all that great on its face (gin straight up? not too many takers out there, am I right?) can be really surprising. If you are a fan of complex and interesting drinks, I'd recommend picking up a bottle, and pouring a couple ounces over an ice cube or two. Might surprise you, it did me!

Also the White Album. That ranks up there in albums that you start to think aren't as good as they actually are (and subsequently remember on next listening).

Now I'm listening to Paul McCartney in Wings. Yep, I'm captive to my computer...waiting for drives to finish defragging on my servers at work.

Dang it, music has gone downhill. The final outro to McCartney's "Rock Show" has the greatest piano/bass groove. Shame the poor sod is most well known for "Ebony and Ivory", "Silly Love Songs", "Let Em In", and Guns 'N Roses' visceral and grotesque butchering of "Live and Let Die". I would probably rate him as the best musician of the latter 20th Century, and no, it is not just because we Rickenbacker-wielding bassists stick together.

Maybe it is.


Matt said...

Good thoughts...I've had the same experience with jazz. I don't go to the Blue Room often, but when I do I wonder why I don't. If that made any sense.

What brand of salsa do you buy?

I bought Memory Almost Full and am enjoying it as my current album of choice.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

"What brand of salsa do you buy?"

That'd be Senor Stan's "Tio Loco", their extra hot salsa.


The Blue Room was enjoyable, many years ago when I went last. Great music. I'm just not a social enough cat, I'd rather stay in. I will have to go back again someday.

Anonymous said...