Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Benny Golson's 'Whisper Not'... my New Year's present for ParisLovesJazz readers

Bonne Annee from Paris!!

Here's a nice romantic song to bring in the New Year.

Benny Golson has said that he wrote "Whisper Not" in only 20 minutes, and that the title meant "nothing" he just liked the way the two words sounded together. (Leonard Feather would later write lyrics.) From such ordinary beginnings in 1956 emerged a jazz standard. Its earliest recordings came on Golson's debut as leader (New York Scene) and on albums by the Dizzy Gillespie big band and Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers while Golson was a member of each of those congregations.

Here's my arrangement of Benny Golson's amazing standard - live in concert with my Quartet

Monday, December 20, 2010

Jazz in Paris in January 2011 - what's on in January in the jazz clubs and bars of Paris

Ayiee! Paris in January is busy busy busy with Jazz. There are great jazz concerts in venues all over Paris in January - traditional, avant-garde, nu-jazz, blues - you name it, it's all over town!

My little blog can't begin to give you a complete listing of the Paris jazz venues and concerts in January, but, what I can do is pick out some highlights, and maybe give you some good advice on what looks good.... and maybe even what might be nice to do before or after for a great night out in Paris seeing live jazz.


December 31st (that sort of counts as January, doesn't it...)
At Sunside - Rhoda Scott is pumping out the good time grooves on her Hammond B3 at 8:30pm and 11pm

and if you're going to be at Sunside for either of those gigs, then you should probably be wandering the lovely romantic streets in the Marais sometime before or after... it doesn't matter where you go - it's all beautiful all the time.  My favourite restaurant is Les Philosophes.  Sitting on one of the most beautiful corners in the city they serve up reliably traditional fare in a quiet but romantic setting - perfect for a night out in Paris.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

December in the Jazz Bars and Jazz Clubs in Paris

What's on in December in the jazz bars and jazz cafes of Paris?  Music all over the city with so many different styles and approaches.

December 11th the Musee de Quai Branly offers the next concert in their series 'Blue Indigo' - Mike Reed's 'People's Places and Things'.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Django Lives - The Best Gypsy Jazz in Paris

Well, I admit that a little bit of Gypsy Jazz guitar in Paris goes a long way for me. Maybe it's because I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the Gypsy jazz in the Paris venues and concert halls and cafes and bars and street corners and ack!!.... really it is possible all over Paris to hear 'iffy' players hacking through the legacy of Django Reinhardt.  But a few places still do it well....

Friday, December 03, 2010

Paris Jazz...

A fun offering from France for the holiday season.  My quartet and I threw together a rendition of the classic Charles Trenet chanson, 'Menilmontant'...  (named after an extremely cool and historic neighbourhood just a little way down the boulevard from where I live in Paris).

it's a great tune..

for more about my work - visit www.bremnerduthie.com  , or scroll down the page for jazz listing for Paris for December and some great other upcoming jazz gigs in Paris.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Play me some of that old time music, boys.... Big Band Swing Jazz in Paris

Le Petit Journal de Montparnasse programs old time standards, small orchestras, blues bands, gospel singers and dixieland.  No minimalist ECM long form free impro happening there.

Which, if you're into the first, and not into the second, is a very good thing.  .  On December 9th, at 9:30pm.... (well, this is Paris, where everything starts late...so say 'around 9.30pm') Claude Bolling will be bringing his spectacular Big Band to the stage to run through quite a few standards.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Jazz in St. Germain - a weekly event at the Hotel D'Aubusson

Well, I'm not much for smooth jazz, but these two have a lovely sound and technique, and if one is going to be relaxed and calmed by beautiful sounds in a lovely environment, there is not much better place then the centre of St. Germain de Pres, in the centre of Paris.  (St. Germain is really the heart of 'perfect Paris'... it is another world from where I live way up in the north of the city, on the other side of Sacre Coeur.  Up here we talk about going 'into Paris', - a ten minute trip -  when we need go to St. Germain)

Christian Brenner is a pianist and vibraphonist who has a weekly gig at the Cafe Laurent at the Hotel D'Aubusson (one of Simone de Beauvoir's old accomodations - pretty classy, Simone!).

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Upcoming Week in Paris Jazz bars and clubs

Some new artists and some heavyweights appearing in the upcoming week or so in Paris jazz bars.  If these don't interest you then check out the complete club listings for more options!

At Sunset/Sunside, right in the heart of the city, on a lovely pedestrian street on the right bank there are some nice acts this week.  On Friday night, at 10pm, Nico Wayne Toussaint, the French blues singer and harmonica player is performing (should be a nice way to end a cold friday with some hot blues)  Here's Nico playing some particularly down and dirty harmonica

And on Saturday night as part of their 'New Sounds' fest, Brice Martin and Claude Bartholomy are shaking up the downstairs at Sunset with some outside vocal and sax sounds

Monday, November 29, 2010

Blue Indigo - Jazz in Paris at the Quai Branly Museum

Jazz in Paris from around the world

Le Quai Branly is a wonderful new museum on the left bank.  One more example of new  cutting edge architecture for the city.  They specialize in exhibiting world cultures and the interior is a treat to wander through - it's a maze of rooms and alleys and interiors that make you feel like you are discovering the different worlds.  And, in Spring the little park in front is a welcome retreat from the bustle of the city.  This season they are presenting a jazz series that is a welcome change from the regular jazz venues and jazz cafes around town.

Over the course of the 2010-2011 season they are presenting a series they call Blue Indigo, a season of concerts that symbolically retraces the original roads through the Deep South (with John Hebert’s Byzantine Monkey, Matana Roberts’ Coin Coin) to the East Coast (Tyshawn Sorey Quartet, Steve Lehman Octet, Craig Taborn, William Parker & Gerald Cleaver Trio), and the Midwest (Mike Reed’s People, Places & Things, Chicago Underground Duo).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jazz Radio in Paris

Jazz Radio Stations in Paris

the supreme radio station in Paris for jazz fans is TSF, which used to be a communist station until it was bought in 1999 by Frank Tenot & Jean-Francois Bizot. their playlist tends towards the great standards, but keep an ear open at 8pm Monday to Friday, when programming manager Sebastien Vidal interviews a who's-who of Paris players & visitors.

in the morning, catch excellent historic recordings and stories from former France Musique director Pierre Bouteiller...on TSF every weekday morning at 9am for the rare early-rising jazz enthusiast!

So, while you're getting ready to go out, here are some excellent radio shows to tune into when you're in Paris:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Paris Jazz celebrates the late lamented Albert Ayler - Dec 2nd

If you want to step out of the regular Paris jazz clubs and jazz bars and see some live jazz in Paris in a wonderful space then check out this event at the contemporary art museum 'Le Fondation Cartier'

Albert Ayler (July 13, 1936 – November 25, 1970) was an American avant-garde jazz saxophonist, singer and composer.

Ayler was among the most primal of the free jazz musicians of the 1960s; critic John Litweiler wrote that "never before or since has there been such naked aggression in jazz" He possessed a deep blistering tone—achieved by using the stiff plastic Fibrecane no. 4 reeds on his tenor saxophone—and used a broad, pathos-filled vibrato.  On Dec 2nd, at 8pm (for the cost of only 7.50 euros) the Fondation Cartier in Paris will be holding an 'hommage' to the memory and music of Albert Ayler.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Our List of the Best Jazz Bars and Clubs in Paris

Our complete list of Jazz Clubs in Paris.  Where to hear the best live jazz musicians in Paris.  From A to Z with all Paris Jazz Clubs

Some of these venues are famous Paris jazz bars, some of these places are down and dirty Paris jazz clubs. The opinions here are entirely ours. PLEASE send us your comments to help us keep things up-to-date. (also, if you have any suggestions how to get the accents for our French words working correctly, we're all ears.)

L'Archipel: 17 blvd de Strasbourg 10th, Metro Chateau d’Eau Does double service as a cinema...which means the chairs are comfy, but there's no room to dance (or drink). Two rooms (the blue and the red), and one cheerful ticket-taker. Entrance 9-15 euros.

Atelier Charonne: 21 rue de Charonne 11th,, Metro Bastille or Ledru Rollin. Focus on jazz Manouche. Free, straight-up shows that start some time after 8:30pm.

Autour de Midi...et Minuit: 11 rue Lepic 18th, Metro Blanche Entrance varies (free to about 10 euros.)

Baiser Sale: 58 rue des Lombards 1st, Metro Chatelet Upstairs from the tiny bar and terrasse, there's a nice-sized room for jams and bands. Almost always worth a visit. (price range usually 10 to 20 euros)

Babilo (alt Bab-ilo): 9 rue du Baigneur, 18th,, Metro Jules Joffrin. Weekend jazz, including Sunday 6:30pm jam sessions (kinda Brazilian, so I hear, though i haven't gotten there yet myself.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A 'just outside Paris' jazz club event - Tuesday Nov 23

And this is a ‘just outside of Paris’ jazz club in a totally cool space.  As Paris becomes ever more expensive artists and musicians and whole festivals are moving just past the borders of the city - like Williamsburg in NYC (..perhaps not quite as 'cool' as Williamsburg, but you get the idea...) So the north-east suburbs of Montreuil and Pantin are becoming slowly filled with artists and artisans and new theatre and music spaces - the artists are, (as one of my favourite pieces of graffiti once said) 'the shock troops of gentrification'.

The aptly named Banlieu Blues fest presents in November a festival of jazz and blues just outisde Paris - Dynamo (La Dynamo de Banlieu Bleus – which wonderfully translates as something like THE DYNAMO OF SUBURBAN BLUES!).  There will be wine and maybe food if you get there early....

Monday, November 15, 2010

This week in Paris Jazz Clubs - a rainy November in Live Jazz in Paris

Well, I'm going with this concert as the one to see this week.  An all out marathon of jazz and jazzy players at the  historic (well, 10 years old historic...) Le Triton  this Saturday, Nov 20th, from 4pm to 2am the next morning.  It's a nice, intimate space (not so much a Paris Jazz Bar, but a real Jazz Club) where you'll feel part of the action and where the crowd will be regulars of the venue and supporters of the little record label they have.  

It is just outside of the walls of Paris.  But if you plan it right then you can also take advantage of the trip to visit historic Belleville.  Get off the Metro at 'Belleville' or 'Goncourt' and then walk uphill for a few blocks before getting back on at 'Jordain' to head out to 'Mairie des Lilas'.  If the weather is nice then make a side trip over to see the view over Paris from the lovely 'Parc de Belleville' and have a glass of wine on the terrace of the Mer a Boire.  I can't imagine a nicer way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Best Bar in ...

A quick non-Paris amazing jazz club note -

I have been on the road on the other side of the water for the last three weeks.  From New York City to New Orleans and back via Memphis, Nashville and Detroit.  Making music and also just some touring around.  Got stuck in Detroit (sadly broke an axle on my 1964 Skylark

just outside Toledo.... so I got a tow truck to take me up to Detroit).

I toughed it out by booking myself into the fabulous newly renovated Book Cadillac hotel

and and spent 3 days wandering around the surreal dying city

checking out the amazing music scene.  And I stumbled into the best Jazz bar in Detroit.  Cliff Bell's. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Must See! Saturday Night Cool - Lee Konitz headlines in one of my favourite Paris Jazz Clubs

If you're looking for a great experience watching live jazz in Paris or visiting one of the many live jazz clubs and bars in Paris then I would advice you check out a concert this Saturday night (November 13th at 8pm, 25 euros) at Sunset/Sunside  - one of my favourite jazz bars in the city.  

Lee Konitz and Dan Tepfer

Lee is generally considered one of the driving forces of Cool Jazz, and one of the few altoists to retain a distinctive sound in the 40s, when Charlie Parker exercised a tremendous influence on other players.

Konitz began his professional career in 1945 with the Teddy Powell band as a replacement for Charlie Ventura. The engagement apparently did not start out smoothly, as Ventura is said to have banged his head against a wall when Konitz played.

In 1949 he teamed up with the Miles Davis group for one or two weeks and again in 1950 to record Birth of the Cool. Konitz has stated that he considered the group to belong to Gerry Mulligan, and credits Lennie Tristano as the true forebearer of "the cool".

In the early 1950s, Konitz recorded and toured with Stan Kenton's orchestra. In 1961, he recorded Motion with Elvin Jones on drums and Sonny Dallas on bass. This spontaneous session, widely regarded as a classic, consisted entirely of standards. The loose trio format aptly featured Konitz's unorthodox phrasing and chromaticism.

Konitz has been quite prolific, recording dozens of albums as a band leader. He has also recorded or performed with Dave Brubeck, Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Elvin Jones and others.

Monday, November 08, 2010


OK, it's not Paris Jazz Clubs and it's not about live Jazz in Paris - but it's amazing.  This video kills me everytime I watch it..... so I'm posting it again so everyone can see it...again and again....  You understand after this how Louis Armstrong was not only an amazing innovator in jazz instrumental styles, but an extraordinary innovator in vocal stylings.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Who needs Jazz clubs in Paris - Go home with a real Paris Jazz Musican

Bored of simply seeing live jazz in Paris bars and clubs.... well, now the house concert has finally hit France!

And man, I love the way they say this in France - 'participation aux frais au chapeau' just means 'we'll pass the hat', but somehow it sounds so much more refined when they say it.

If you would like to get down and dirty and get really intimate with the Paris jazz scene, then why not risk your best tourist-French and call and make a reservation to hear these two fine players in an intimate setting in a home in Paris.  (click on the image to get the details in a larger window)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

15,000 Visitors to Paris Loves Jazz

15,000 people searching here for live jazz in Paris and live jazz clubs and bars in Paris

Wow.  How did that happen!  I started this blog a while ago to communicate my amazement at all the extraordinary music going on in the city.  Coming from North America, where unless you live in NYC, you're lucky if a city has two or three clubs that specialize in jazz, I was blown away by the dozens of clubs that cover the Paris landscape.  It seemed logical to talk about the great times I was having experiencing all the variations of jazz and improvised music by players of all ages and backgrounds across the City of Lights....

I'm glad it worked out....

Visitors to Paris

Through this blog I not only get the pleasure of writing about and visiting the Paris jazz clubs and seeing live jazz in Paris, but I get the pleasure of meeting some spiffy visitors to the Fair City. Jazz musicians, singers and jazz lovers drop me a line, and, when I can, it's great to cross paths and show them some of the sights and the sounds, or just meet up to swop stories and see a band. Occasionally I even get to make music with them.

Last year I had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful west coast Sax player Paul Wainwright.

Paul has has played with hundreds of renowned musicians and singers such as Kenny Loggins, Stevie Nicks, Michael Buble, Martha Reeves, Jim Byrnes, Donny Walsh (Mr Downchild), Vic Damone, and opened for Herbie Hancock, Manhattan Transfer, Etta James, k.d. lang, Melissa Etheridge and The Great Guitars (Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel, Charlie Byrd)... he has some great stories about his travels and music, and we dropped by Sunside/Sunset to hear some music.

Later that week he dropped by my place (a lovely little cobblestone alley in the north of the city) and to my delight my street was closed that day for a festival and a marching jazz band was wandering up and down.  I felt like Paris was doing it's best to impress Paul.

And this summer, lo and behold, I went on tour, and I got a chance to play with him.  On my tour of Canada I played a bunch of dates across the country in support of the new album 'The Sky Was Blue' , and Paul helped me set up a couple of shows in the lovely town of Victoria, BC, where he is based.

He loaded me with CDs and so I've spent the last month listening to the sounds of his very tight little 3 piece 'big band' - I love his new album ...it's a bit bigger with Steve Duben on Bass, John Ferraro on Drums, Tom Lang on Guitar and Morry Stearns on Keyboard and it is up here  for listening or purchase.

Paris is truly a moveable feast .....

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall in the Fair City - Jazz Clubs in Paris in Autumn - September and October

Springtime in Paris Jazz is pretty sweet - but even sweeter is Fall, especially for jazz clubs in Paris and live Jazz in Paris as all the well-tanned Parisians return revitalized from their 5 week holidays and set out to begin a new season of eating well and drinking well and heading out to see fine musicians around the city.

Even the Jazzers get their time to recharge. Under France's mandated assistance to artists and performers and musicians, all employers of these artsy types have to set aside 10% of their wages to assist them later in taking a summer holiday - the wonderful 'Conges Spectacles' program, where even the poorest of Jazz musicians can take two weeks and bring his family to the seaside.

So, expect some energetic performances in the next weeks in Paris.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

and....... we're back!

So, heading back to Paris - after almost a year a way - back to the mecca of Jazz and Jazz Clubs and music all the other good things that Paris can bring...

Look for updates to this site in the next days and weeks

We'll be taking a look at Summer Festivals and the bar scene over the summer months

Vive Le Jazz!