Brad Spurgeon's Blog

A world of music, auto racing, travel, literature, chess, wining, dining and other crazy thoughts….

Finding Wings at the Swan Bar Jam in Paris

September 2, 2011
bradspurgeon

I have always been of two minds about the open jam sessions and open mics at the Swan Bar in Montparnasse in Paris. It is a wonderful, classy bar, run by the interesting Lionel Bloom, a former university professor and adorer of Joyce and Yeats. But the emphasis is on jazz and old-time cabaret variety music. This is not the kind of music I can play, even if I like and respect it. In fact, I grew up with jazz and listen to it all the time. But when it comes to playing it myself, I’m not in the swing, so it don’t mean a thing.

But last night after the Swan Bar had been closed for the month of August, it reopened and celebrated with a jam session. Sheldon Forrest, the wonderful and genial pianist, was hosting the evening, and I know he has alway encouraged my playing there. So I went. I did not regret it. Yes, there was a lot of the usual stuff. But there were other bits and pieces too, and a warm reception for me and a pianist who decided to play along with me, and a new woman working behind the bar who also took to the stage and did a wonderful job. That was Canelle De Balasy, and she did not do jazz either. At the end of the evening she, and some of the other women singers and I all joined in together to sing “Hey Jude.” Too bad I don’t know all the lyrics!

But it was an excellent evening, and I recommend taking a chance on the Swan Bar, even if you are not a jazz musician.

2 Comments

  1. Hello Mister Spurgeon !

    I just reallized that the OTHER pianist is ME : Woaow ! I didn’t know about this vidéo. It’s dark but the sound is good. So … Pleased to meet you and Thanks for this tape

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