Madam Chemel lived in the apartment below ours when we first moved to Paris. She loves jazz. She lent me several French jazz CD’s to rip and has, since we moved to the Marias, tried to set up a time for us to go “hear some jazz”. Last night we heard some Jazz.
We met Madame Chemel her 20 something son and his girlfriend, Sara, at the Sunset-Sunside Jazz Club near our apartment. Bugge Wesseltoft, a Norwegian, is apparently all the rage in Paris jazz clubs. It was advertised as "Bugge Wesseltoft, his piano and his machines". His machines turned out to be a mixer and his apple computer. I would like to think that I’m up for new things but the truth is “experimental anything” is not on my cup of tea. My thinking is that if you can play the piano, and he can play the piano, then lose all the electronic bullshit and tickle the ivories. But it was an enjoyable evening and Madam Chemel is a sweetheart and the 20 somethings are a cute couple so we had fun.
I noticed that there is, apparently, no “maximum capacity” numbers to clubs in Paris. Everyone had a seat but once you sat down you could not get up- no aisles. The waitress carrying our drink order, looked at us from across the crowded room, smiled, shrugged her shoulders and returned our drinks to the bar. The other thing I noticed was the quiet. When Bugge began playing there was not a peep. No one spoke, there was no chatter, no cell phones ringing, no glasses clinking- people were there to listen to the music only. I was talking to the French guy next to me between sets. He had the complete skinny on Bugge and was happy to share it- I mentioned how respectful it was to the musician as well as the others in the audience for people to remain quiet. He looked confused and said, “How else would it be?”