Imperturbability is equanimity with an attitude. It places focus on the external forces to be overcome, in contrast with equanimity, which is focused within.
Bugs Bunny is the furry personification of imperturbability. Elmer, Daffy and Yosemite Sam all lost their composure but Bugs never did.
- Joe Adamson, Bugs Bunny: Fifty Years and Only One Grey Hare (Henry Holt & Company, 1990).
- Extensive video collections are available
Edith Pearlman writes about the "predicaments - odd, wry, funny and painful - of being human." She tells them with a tone that says she is unperturbed by life's disasters, large or small.
- Edith Pearlman, Binocular Vision: New & Selected Stories (Lookout Books, 2011).
- Edith Pearlman, How to Fall: Stories (Sarabande Books, 2005).
- Edith Pearlman, Love Among the Greats: Stories (Eastern Washington University Press, 2002).
- Edith Pearlman, Vaquita and Other Stories (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996).
- Nicole Krauss, The History of Love (W.W. Norton & Company, 2006), in which in the author explores how "shattered characters" find "exuberance in what is an essentially tragic novel".
Film and Stage
- Apollo 13, about a lunar mission threatened by equipment failure
- Kirikou and the Sorceress: an animated film, based on a West African legend, about an “indomitable little-boy hero” who begins life by demanding to be born
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Miles Davis was at the forefront of several important developments in jazz. After beginning his career in bebop, he teamed with pianist Gil Evans to give birth to cool jazz – music of unflappability. Following on his partnership with Evans, he devoted a substantial part of his career to playing cool music. It seemed to fit his persona, as an African-American man not to be waylaid by the culture that surrounded him. This theme of imperturbability took a fascinating creative turn when Davis ventured into funk. In this music, he emphasized his black cultural roots, placing an exclamation point on the idea that white culture would not stop him from expressing himself. Gradually, an inner strength emerged in his music. Miles Davis’ evolution as a conceptualizer of jazz music makes for fascinating listening, as we follow his music throughout his performing lifetime. In contrast to Duke Ellington, whose music evolved to suit changing popular tastes, Miles Davis’ music evolved from within, giving it authenticity and meaning. In this section, we explore the beginnings with Evans, Davis’ cool period on his own, and his funk period.
Miles Davis, Gil Evans and other cool jazz artists::
- Miles Davis, “Birth of the Cool” album
- Miles Davis, “Sketches of Spain” album
- Miles Davis, “Miles Ahead” album, alternate version
- Miles Davis and Gil Evans, “The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings”
- Miles Davis and Gil Evans, “Quiet Nights”
- Gerry Mulligan, “Night Lights” album
- “Gerry Mulligan Quartet, Volume 1” album
- Modern Jazz Quartet, “Django” album
- Blossom Dearie, “My Gentleman Friend” album
- Lennie Tristano, “The New Tristano” album
- Stan Getz, “West Coast Jazz” album
- “Cool jazz café” compilation
- Antonio Adolfo, “Finas Misturas” album
Miles Davis’ cool music, sans Gil Evans:
- “First Miles”
- “Cool Moves”
- “Cool Blues”
- “Workin’” (1956)
- “’Round About Midnight” (1957)
- “Live at Olympia 1960”
- “Live at the 1963 Monterey Jazz Festival”
- “Côte Blues” (1963)
- “Seven Steps to Heaven” (1963)
- “Miles Smiles” (1966)
- “A Day in Paris”
Miles Davis’ funk period:
- “Miles in the Sky” (1968)
- “The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions” (1970)
- “Bitches Brew Live” (1969-1970)
- “The Cellar Door Sessions” (1970)
- “Live – Evil” (1970)
- “Black Beauty: Miles Davis at Fillmore West” (1970)
- “Miles Davis at Fillmore: Live at Fillmore East” (1970)
- “The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions” (1971)
- “Miles Davis in Concert” (1972)
- “Get Up with It” (1974)
- “Dark Magus”: Live at Carnegie Hall, 1974
- “Agharta” (1975)
- “Decoy” (1983)
- “doo-bop” (1991)
Albums displaying the behind-the-beat aloofmess that characteries cool jazz:
- Pat Matshikaza & Kippie Moketsi, “Tshona!"
- Gonora Sounds, “Hard Times Never Kill”: joyful music from a blind Zimbabwean guitarist and his group, seen through the lens of the album title
- Julian Belbachir, “Babdoukkala” (2022): unhurried jazz from Saharan and sub-Saharan northwest Africa
- Manduka (Alexandre Manuel Tiago de Mello), “Manduka”, from a brilliant Brazilian singer who was underappreciated, and died too young
- David Helbock, “The New Cool” (2021), is “an atmospheric, often ruminative trove whose pictoral edginess points in particular to an appreciation of rock, pop jazz and filmic storytelling.”
- Raga Bhupali (Bhoopali), a Hindustani classical raga for late evening (performances by Amonkar, Sayeeduddin Dagar and Chaurasia)
Me imperturbe, standing at ease in Nature,
Master of all or mistress of all, aplomb in the midst of irrational things,
Imbued as they, passive, receptive, silent as they,
Finding my occupation, poverty, notoriety, foibles, crimes, less important than I thought,
Me toward the Mexican sea, or in the Mannahatta or the Tennessee, or far north or inland,
A river man, or a man of the woods or of any farm-life of these States or of the coast, or the lakes or Kanada,
Me wherever my life is lived, O to be self-balanced for contingencies,
To confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents, rebuffs, as the trees and animals do.