Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I'm Gonna Getcha, Succor!

Tonight after leaving work as early as possible to get a good spot at Jazz in June for Hot Club of San Francisco, a nod to Django Reinhardt's group Hot Club of France, I watched Julia! America's Favorite Chef.

I really enjoyed the Hot Club of San Fran (note the bass player and the violinist tonight were different from those on the website. The violinist tonight was actually an original member that is now back; the bassist was named Clint). They were everything I'd hoped they would be from reading about them in the promo material. They have a solo guitarist, violinist, upright bass player, and two rhythm guitar players. I enjoyed the virtuosity of the first three, but what intrigued me most was the role of the last two. The lead of the group, the solo guitarist, frequently referred to them as the Gasoline Brothers, who fuel the "Hot" in Hot Club, or the engine; and he's right, without a percussion section (drums or piano), the rhythm guitarists were the engine and fuel that kept the songs together and hopping.

It might be in We Are Still Married that Garrison Keillor has an essay about which part in an orchestra is best suited for a Lutheran. My memory fails me as to which part he settled on, but I think that second violin was in the running. The point is that it isn't a flashy role that they needed but one of support and steadiness.

The hour long documentary on Julia Child was nice, not because it revealed any particularly new information (I'm reading The United States of Arugula now, which has more than enough to say about Child, James Beard, and the rest of the Food Establishment of the first part of the 20th century.), or had rare archival footage, but for how it brought to light Paul Child, the man 10 years Julia's elder, who met her in Kandy, Ceylon while each was working with OSS (precursor to the CIA).

They fell in love, and eventually married, a day after they were in a serious car accident (him with a cane and her full of glass). Julia was a socialite whose exuberance was unchanneled. Paul was a world-wise man who not only inspired a love from her that fueled her desire to become the woman he would love, but also loved her in a way that made his moulding a gift she gratefully received.

After the publishing of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, she did a book talk show on Boston's public channel which grew into 200 episodes of The French Chef. All the while, Paul was there 'happily serving as her pot-scrubber, factotum, bodyguard [he had a black belt in judo], and de facto manager, schlepping her all-important "sacred bag."'-- from The United States of Arugula by David Kamp

This brings me to my title (if you've made it this far, thank you for hanging in there.)

Succor comes from the Latin for "run underneath," as precursor means "to run before." Succor has come to mean to provide assistance or relief, not to far from its origin.

I think it is a great thing to serve the world like Jason Vanderford, Jeff Magidson, and Paul Child. I wish that I had as much talent, humility, and integrity as they.

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