"And the pain.... was tremendous..." - Bill Cosby
So, after watching an oh-so-beautiful two-goal lead slip away from the U.S., who ran themselves out in the first half of the Confederations Cup final to Brasil, I needed to listen to something a little calming. So what better time to take a listen to a couple of recent jazz reissues?:
• Oscar Peterson, Soft Sands - Originally released in '57, this is much more easy-swinging than a lot of Peterson's later work. Laidback piano and string arrangements, with an old-school oohing and ahhing chorus behind him. Very exotica lounge, and the reissue comes with a ton of bonus tracks, although on this particular day, I'd have to say that the samba swing of "I've Never Left Your Arms" is making me a little bitter after the 3-2 Brasil win...
• Count Basie, Fiesta in Blue - Looking at the title, I was worried that I'd picked the wrong two records to listen to today, but the jump and jive of "Honeysuckle Rose," the opener off this best-of compilation. It's all toe-tapping, classic Basie, with some slow-swinging slow numbers ("Going to Chicago," "Harvad Blues") mixed in.
Good for lifting the spirits, all in all. And let's be honest, ever since they beat Spain, the U.S. soccer squidder was playing with house money. It was a little disheartening to see them let a 2-0 lead get away, but it looked to me like Brasil just let 'em run and run and run all first half, and figured they'd be able to make the goals up once the U.S. players had run themselves out. The U.S. had the most trouble with their transition offense; getting the ball ACROSS mid-field and keeping possession. But they just looked kinda gassed in the second half. The Brasil goal in the first couple minutes of the second half took the wind out of the U.S., and the Brasilians just floored it from there.
Still, though, very, VERY respectable showing, and damn good practice for the return trip to South Africa next year.