Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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Vintage Mazet, from Open Mic to Open Jam

January 27, 2012

It is becoming the blueprint for a great night at the Mazet pub on Rue St. Andre des Arts in Paris’s Latin Quarter: It starts out as a packed and loud open mic surviving almost in the background of this central meeting place near the Place de l’Odeon. Then as the evening progresses and performers all go up and play their first slot, the evening in the latter half turns into a jam session, or at least a free-for-all as the performers mix on the stage and play together anything that comes to mind, but usually famous cover songs, in English and in French.

Last night that’s the way it went again, and this time with yet again, as with most of the other evenings, there were some new faces, new voices, new musicians playing different instruments…. There was Mathieu from Switzerland, for instance, or Jul, from France who seems and sounds and looks for all the world like an American folk musician, the classic singer songwriter from Greenwich Village. And he composes in English too, and sings it well. (That, of course, is pretty common around here, but Jul seemed to have practically no accent at all.)

I almost feel like I should not be writing these reports about the Mazet, since at the moment there are always enough musicians to have a fun night, often more than four songs per person and then the jam afterwards. If this place gets too well known, it could turn into one of those waiting list places like so many of the best, most popular, open mics.

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