Last night did mostly ironing and listening to the Chorus DVD as I prepared to go tomorrow on my two-week trip to Asia for the next step in the open mic adventure around the world. But I did do a little update on my Thumbnail Guide of Open Mics, Jam Sessions and Live Music in Paris, adding a few jazz clubs at the end of the list.
I had heard about the jam session at the Duc des Lombards bar in Paris near Chatelet for some time. I had never ended up in the neighborhood on the Friday or Saturday of the jam – which starts at midnight – but last night on the suggestion of a friend with whom I’d just had a drink at the Café de la Paix, we went to check out the jam at the Duc des Lombards.
I am really glad I did. It told me two things: First, the quality was much higher than I expected, second, I would never find my place playing guitar or singing in the jam session of the Duc des Lombards. I had been told it was somewhat jazzy, and that was more than what it was. It was pure jazz. And it was fun, laid back, no cover charge great. The woman I went with told me that the last time she had gone it had not been quite the same level and it seemed just about anyone and everyone could and did go up. So maybe I just happened on a good night.
The bar, nicely and recently redesigned, has a very New York jazz bar kind of feel to it. But it was simplicity itself to walk in, find a place and listen, or talk. Sax players, trumpet players, guitarists, pianists, singers, drummers, upright bass players – all the elements were there. Even a young drunk or two in the audience of otherwise fairly respectful jazz lovers.
I highly recommend checking it out at least once.
Its location is kind of interesting too, as it is beside one of the Hideout bars and across the street from the Guinness Tavern, which I had also never been to and which we also checked out after the Duc des Lombards. But we stayed just long enough to listen to about half of a song of the rock band before we decided – mutually – to clear out. In any case, it was already 3 AM….