"Cool" has always been a kind of tough quality to pin down. Those who have it obviously have it, but describing it takes more work. Is it an attribute? An attitude? A combination?
Deference is often given to the young in clarifying what is and isn't cool, but that may not be the wisest thing in the world to do when you look at what makes a successful and well-adjusted life. So we're still without a clear answer.
Ah, but we aren't! Dave Brubeck, composer Paul Desmond, Eugene Wright and Joe Morello explain it perfectly in the last five minutes and twenty-four seconds of side A of their 1959 album Time Out. Careful and attentive listening of "Take Five" will explain everything you need to know about "cool."
And if for some reason it doesn't, knowing that Paul Desmond left the rights to peformance royalties of "Take Five" and his other compositions to the American Red Cross should help clear it all up.