Paris Jazz: A Guide :: eJazzNews.com : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily Paris Jazz: A Guide
Posted by: editoron Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 07:21 PM
Jazz News About the early days of jazz in Paris, violinist Stéphane Grappelli said, “That was the best time for musicians, you know—no radio, no gramophone. If you want music, you must go to the musician!” These first days—when an all-African American infantry ragtime marching band returned from World War I to a weary city eager for some fun, when Josephine Baker shimmied onstage in skirts of satin palm leaves and Montmartre was a collection of windmills, vineyards, and rickety huts home to a raucous bohemian community—were the seeds of a vibrant tradition of jazz in Paris. Following decades would see American musicians of the likes of Louis Armstrong, Benny Carter, and Miles Davis cross the ocean to jam late into the nights in a city refreshingly free of racism, and the music would evolve into astonishing new forms.
Through anecdotes and quotes from the musicians themselves, PARIS JAZZ: From the Jazz Age to the Present: A Guide leads readers to hallowed jazz sites in four neighborhoods in Paris: Montmartre, Montparnasse, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and the area around the Champs-Élysées. Many of the famed historic clubs remain open today. With this entertaining, elegant book in hand, jazz lovers will discover:
Moulin de la Galette, principal venue of guitarist Django Reinhardt’s Quintette du Hot Club de France, one of the most influential jazz groups to emerge from French soil. Raised by gypsies, Django spent much of his life in caravans on the outskirts of Paris. He was a notoriously fickle band member, causing a fellow musician to say of him, “In spring when leaves reappear, Django disappears.” (pp. 42)
The site of the Blue Note, the famous club immortalized in Bertrand Tavernier’s film, ’Round Midnight, about the lives of Lester Young and Bud Powell. (pp. 104)
The Salle Pleyel, where Dizzy Gillespie first bowled over the French public with the explosive sounds of bebop, and host to a dazzling range of jazz musicians from Louis Armstrong to Coleman Hawkins, Gerry Mulligan to Thelonious Monk. (pp. 96)
Le Duc des Lombards, a premier club in the new center of Paris’s jazz scene, featuring famous contemporary French musicians such as Martial Solal, Henri Texier, and Aldo Romano. (pp. 107)
Showcasing 25 evocative vintage black-and-white photographs of jazz legends and locations, PARIS JAZZ recreates the glamour of the Jazz Age and brings it to the present. With 4 easy-to-use neighborhood maps and a comprehensive listing of contemporary jazz clubs, readers can experience for themselves where Sidney Bechet, Duke Ellington, Adelaide Hall, Cole Porter and scores of other musicians came together, transforming spontaneous rhythms and improvised harmonies into a signature art form of the twentieth century.
PARIS JAZZ: A Guide From the Jazz Age to the Present By Luke Miner Published by The Little Bookroom $19.95 . 174 pages . 25 photos . 4 maps ISBN: 1-89214-5294 . Publication Date: October 2005
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