Friday, May 15, 2009

Jazz in the Paris Jazz Clubs in the last weeks of May

Well, I know its hard to persuade yourself to go into the dark confines of a Paris jazz club in these beautiful spring days, but there is a lot of live jazz going on in Paris, so I'll try and get you off those evening outdoor terraces. Just thank your lucky stars that the new no-smoking rule is being observed nowadays - those jazz clubs used to be dark and very, very smokey

Alright - last week I recommended a few free-jazz events - so this week perhaps we'll stay in the more traditional world.... but I want to encourage folks to explore a bit, so first I wanted to post a couple of events out of the centre of town. The north of Paris is a wonderful area to wander in - filled with artists and trendy stores and also very multicultural - so here is one little interesting evening...

this sounds like its going to be a beautiful and interesting night of music -- Tristan Mace and Walter Thompson -

I recommend you check out Tristan's myspace page here or Walter Thompson's site here. Tristan plays the Bandoneon, made famous by Astor Piazzola. And Thompson has developed a sort of performance like gestural language for creating music with small ensembles. And the space 'La Regard du Cygne' is a lovely intimate little theatre. Its up on Belleville in a wonderful part of town in the north of Paris - lots of great little restaurants all around. Get off at the Belleville metro and walk up the hill - its about 15 minutes walk, but just a great funky, stylish neighbourhood. 23rd of May at 8pm at Regard du Cygne, 210 rue de Belleville, Paris 20ème (click here for a map) (closest metro is Jourdain or Place des Fêtes)

Again up in the north of the city around Belleville, at the Studio de L'Hermitage there is a jazz vocalist - Maria Maccarini - who is doing Cole Porter classics from a fun pop point of view -

you can hear her work here at myspace . She's playing on the 18th/19th/20th at this venue at 8 rue de l'hermitage (click here for a map)

Next up - Back in the centre of town Sunset Sunside offers a CD launch from the amazing label ECM (known almost as much for their wonderful design, as for the music within the CDs). Jeff BALLARD on drums,Larry GRENADIER on double bass and Mark TURNER on tenor sax. 22nd of May at 8pm, 25 euros. Its nice stuff - hear it at myspace Here's their own blurb

"Fly is a new thing. The trio has the intimacy of a close up conversation and the depth of three free minds exploring and expanding on each other's ideas. Uncluttered creativity." - Chick Corea

Sky & Country is the ECM debut of the highly-regarded collective trio that drummer Jeff Ballard has memorably described as “an intimate band with teeth”. Modern jazz history is not short on highly charged sax/bass/drums trios, including those of Sonny Rollins, Albert Ayler and Sam Rivers, but Fly is differently cast. Equal rights for all instruments is one goal. The saxophone seeks parity with bass and drums, and its refusal to fill all the space with sound brings another set of tensions into play. As writer Nate Chinen observed in a JazzTimes article, “This is music that that expands and contracts, effortlessly and dramatically and that balances the cerebral components of group improvisation with the more gut-level element of groove.”

and finally at Duc Des Lombards on the 21st of May, there's this lovely Japanese singer: Emi Oshima (click to hear).

I was startled to hear this great stylistic sound, sung in flawless English and French - I was on tour in Tokyo a year ago and had my share of stilted versions of standards in quirky English. But this is really lovely - very smooth and with nice arrangements. (venue details on our 'venues' page)

click over to our 'what's on' page to see our top recommendations for this month and enjoy the lovely spring weather.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Live Jazz and Jazz Clubs in Paris in May, '09

There is so much going on in live jazz in Paris and all the jazz clubs around Paris. This should be cool (for those who like some outside and free sounds)

The Kris Wanders Outfit
Kris WANDERS saxophone
Johanes BAUER trombone
Peter JACQUEMYN double bass
Mark SANDERS drums

wednesday May 13th at Instants Chavirés
12 euros
Les Instants Chavirés - 01 42 87 25 91 - 7 rue Richard Lenoir - Montreuil (M° Robespierre)

Click HERE for a Map

One of the most powerful tenor saxophonists, Kris Wanders was at the birth of European Improvised Music in the 1960's.

A member of the seminal Globe Unity Orchestra his collaborators of the time included Peter Brotzmann, Louis Moholo and Fred van Hove, Willem Breuker, Kees Hazevoet, Peter Kowald, Stu Martin, Han Bennink, Gunther Hampel , Irene Schweitzer, Joost Buis, Johannes Bauer, Dave Liebman etc… Now a resident of Melbourne, Australia,

Its just outside the 'walls' of Paris (that is, just beyond the huge highway that surrounds the city). But the metro will get you there in about 15 minutes from the centre of town, and personally I would take the metro to the next stop and walk back along Rue de Paris to get a taste of the new artist suburb that is Montreuil.... a very working class district which is being colonized by graphic designers, writers, dancers etc etc etc... very different from the centre of town.

And now I'm going to have to insist that you check this out - its a festival taking place in my favorite theatre in Paris, and maybe the world. The Bouffes du Nord was a run down space that specialized in wrestling and porn when the famous theatre director Peter Brook found it in the 70's. They renovated it.... a 'little' bit... and left it as a beautiful, state of the art, crumbling ruin of a modern theatre. And now every year 'Le Voix est Libre', on the 12th, 13th and 14th of May, takes it over and shows all sorts of variants on jazz and improvised musics. I'm going to post the complete schedule on the 'what's on' page

They really mix it up - world musicians jamming over vivaldi, and all sorts of different approaches to the improvised music. But it can be an unforgettable evening. Also, Bouffes Du Nord Theatre is right beside the Sri Lanken district of Paris, so arrive early to eat some wonderful south Indian food, or traditional french meals in the theatre restaurant.

and finally for those with a yearning for something more 'straight up' I'll point you towards the concert with the wonderful Archie Shepp at the Duc des Lombards. He's on stage from the 13th to the 16th. Things might get a little outside since he's playing with one of my favourites - Dave Burrell. Check out our venues page for addresses and websites

and enjoy the spring weather....