It is what jazz musician Chris Brubeck remembers distinctly about his junior high music teacher Ray Tiezzi, who gave him his first few trombone lessons more than 40 years ago in Connecticut.
It was a cool-looking car -- part of his persona," Brubeck, son of noted jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, said of Tiezzi's wheels. He was a really cool cat."
Tiezzi went on to become the longtime principal at Amesbury Middle School before retiring. Chris Brubeck went on to a career as a professional musician, forming a quartet with his brother, Dan.
Now years later, the teacher and his student have reconnected. And Tiezzi has arranged to bring the Brubeck brothers and their quartet to Newburyport next week for a concert at the Firehouse Center for the Arts.
But to understand what brings the brothers here, you have to look back.
It was the 1960s, and a young Tiezzi had just stepped out of the music school at Ithaca College in New York, ready to face the world of music education in Wilton, Conn. His spirits were high, and his ego was even higher.
I thought I knew it all," Tiezzi said. I was sitting on top of the world."