Just got back from a couple of days in Paris and thought I would write a quick report.
Arrived Wensday night and headed straight for Rue de la Maur to the Cafe Charmane where Sebastien Giniaux and Mathuie Chatalin have a regular spot. Sebastien played brilliently backed up by the tight, modern pomp of Mathuie, (who is a great arranger of tunes and who finds some amazing voicings for cords). Sebastien for those who don't know him is absolutly a rising star of the young Parisien scene (sebastienginiaux.com).
The night became a jam session with Adrian (THE other rising star), myself and a plethora of great violinists sitting in. Later on Norig, the beautiful and increadible vocalist, got up and together with Sebastien, Mathuie, clarinettist and violinist, performed a repetoir of Balkan and Romanian songs with consumate proffenionalism, joined at every chorus by a young and vibrant audience in community sing song fashion, right out of an Emir Kusterichia film. Listen to the live recordings of Norigs gigs
on Sebastien's web site, you will find a whole concert of hers at the concerts page.
The next day I went to Francois Charles' shop in the GalleryVero, right near the Louvre. I bought a new book just out of a selection of Bireli solos from all three gypsy project albums (Micheal this is one for your on line store), and jammed with a couple of Parisen Guitarists of pretty good calabar. We played on Stephan Halls guitars. Just as I was leaving Moreno walked in, an air of sinti grace decended apon the place.
I then went to Adrian's appertment (for those of you who don't know him he is the young boy wonder from L'Ensemble Zaiti who headlined the international gypsy guitar festival in Gossington UK), we jammed for the rest of the afternoon and listened to a concert of Bireli's that he had recorded of the radio.
From there I went to a jam session host by Serge Kreif, which was pretty good, although a bit messy with loads of guitarists thrashing away with tone of enery, technique and matcho spirit but not leaving any room for elegance and art.
I bought the new Tchavalo Schmitt album the next morning before getting on the eurostar back to London, where word has it the Quecumbar is struggling and may not last till next year. Paris is where its at, can you belive I did't even manage to make it to the Angelo or Tchavalo concerts that where on whilst I was there. The Tchavalo album is amazing though and an absolute must.
I come away loaded with goodies and inspiration, Paris is the place to learn.