PAUL VERNON CHESTER
Many jazz historians feel that were it not for Paris’s whole-hearted welcome of jazz and African-American jazz musicians, the music might never have fully developed and found its place in the world. From 1914 through the 1930’s, the hot spot for jazz in Paris was old Montmartre, a section of the city in which many African-American jazz musicians lived, and the site of many legendary jazz clubs, including Le Grand Duc and Bricktop’s. Decades later, the now ritzy streets just off of the Champs-Elysees were the place to go. Today, jazz can be found all over the city, from huge public venues, to small cozy settings, to a single musician blowing jazz standards on his sax on (or under) a bridge.
Cafe De Lion 1931
Le Boite a Matelots 1932 - The Sailors Dive a
copy of the Palm Beach Club in Cannes
Salle Lafayette 1934
Chez Florence Paris 1934
Stage B Club Montparnasse 1935
La Villa d'Este 1935
Django filled in for Oscar Aleman with Freddy Taylor's band for a month long run
Salle Wagram Paris 1935
Salle Rameau Paris 1935
Salle Pleyel Paris 1935
Saint Jean De Luze 1935 -
Aux Nuit Bleues Cabaret Paris 1935
L' Ecole de Normale Musique Paris 1935
La Grosse Pomme 1936
1936, singer Adelaide Hall's restless spirit encouraged her to
move to Paris to live, and for the next 3 years she toured extensively across
Europe. Her British Sailor husband and manager,
opened a nightclub for her in Montmartre called
(the Big Apple a term claimed coined by Hicks for NYC). It became a mecca for
the rich and famous bohemians. Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli,
with their Quintette du Hot Club de France, were the resident
band and Adelaide would perform nightly at the club. Maurice Chevalier,
Marlene Dietrich and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were regular
patrons . I
. In Paris she recorded “I'm Shooting High” and “Say You're Mine” with Willie Lewis's orchestra in the spring of 1936, . She also worked with Ray Ventura's orchestra in France.
Miss Hall says she believes she and her husband coined the
Big Apple as a nickname for New York City. La Grosse Pomme was the name of the
Parisian club the couple opened in 1936.
Ekyans - Swing Time Club
El Rodeo Club - Paris - May 1946
“Le Croix du Sud” club in Montparnasse
Le Caveau de la Huchette is a jazz club in the Latin Quarterof Paris. The building dates to the sixteenth century, but became a jazz club in 1946. The design has been compared to a cellar or labyrinth and allegedly it was once used by Mystics and Freemasons. Since becoming a jazz club it has been a venue for American greats like Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, and Art Blakey, as well as leading French jazz musicians like Claude Luter and Claude Bolling. Bill Coleman was an American expatriate in France who is also associated with the club.
Le Peit Journal Saint-Michel Famous, gorgeous old Parisian jazz club in the heart of St. Michel
Le Bilboquet, 13 rue Saint-Benoit 6th is a Paris jazz institution dating back to 1947. This is a great place to soak up the unique ambience in this classy establishment. Miles, Duke and Bird all played back in the day. Situated right in the heart of Saint-Germain 50 yards from Les Deux Maggots, it is utterly authentic, beautifully decorated and lit and superb, intimate sound.
Le Grande Duc - (52 rue Pigalle)
Le Tabou was a cellar club located at 33 Rue Dauphine in Saint Germain des Pres, Paris. The club opened shortly after Club des Lorientias on 11 April 1947...
The Music Box in Paris
Casino de Paris (16 rue De Clichy)
Tadd Dameron gave Cab Kaye UK Singer his first and only piano lesson. In the Club St. Germain Cab Kaye played with guitarist Django Reinhardt who had become more interested in Bebop
Le Boeuf sur le Toit
On January 22, 1922 was inaugurated near the Rond-Point des Champs-Elysees, the jazz club "Le Boeuf sur le Toit", which became the first temple of jazz in Paris. Wiener, a young pianist won by jazz, plays almost every night ragtime. Other musicians attending the club, the pianist Arthur Rubinstein and the composer Maurice Ravel. That's where Ravel meets Vaucher trombonist Leo Arnaud, one of the pioneers of jazz in France who is engaged to Hollywood in 1936 as an orchestrator and conductor. This is also the club that the guitarist Django Reinhardt attends.
Talking about the "Boeuf sur le Toit" let me remind you that this is the very place where according to Yves Salgues in "La légende de Django" (for french text see http://www.jazzmagazine.com/Vies/portraits/djangoreinhardt/django7.htm )one night at 2 o'clock in the morning, Django who had just gambled and lost 100,000 francs at the 'Chemin de fer in a clandestine gambling-den came in. The Jo Bouillon Orchestra was playing there. His cousin Eugène Vées joined him, then his brother Joseph, and then Fouad.- "Champagne, Monsieur Moïses" said Django with a tired voice. The musicians of the Orchestra are packing up their belongings. On the stage lies a guitar. Django looks at it for a moment, he stands up, takes it and rests it on his knees and starts ringing a few notes. Does he realize at this moment that he is improvising something eternal just as imperishable as Handy's 'St Louis Blues' or Gershwin's 'The Man I Love'? That night, at the "Boeuf sur le Toit" was born 'Nuages'...He will receive in less than three years, 780 000 francs in royalties for this sole title [15 millions of 1957 french francs]. Some lyrics will be added to this tune and it will be played even in the smallest French village dance.
The Boeuf sur le Toit was first established in 1922 by Louis Moysès, and originally it was located on Rue Boissy d'Anglas, but then moved to Rue de Penthievre and then in 1941 it moved again to its present location which is on the Rue du Colisee. In this case, 'boeuf' is nothing to do with beef, but actually French slang for a jam session, and there are still frequent jazz concerts at the restaurant once a favourite of Jean Cocteau. Louis Moysès (the owner of the cabaret, who used to serve Champagne to Django)
In 1943, at the age of 20, Bernard Peiffer
professional debut with alto saxophonist Andre Ekyan. Soon after, he was
hired by Django Reinhardt to play with a ten-piece band at Boeuf Sur Le Toit
in Paris. Bernard credited Reinhardt with teaching him the music
business, and Django predicted a brilliant career for Peiffer. Their musical association and friendship continued through
the years; Django, not known for his fondness of working with pianists,
would often show up nightly to Bernard's engagements to "sit in."
Although Django's playing had by now become a notch more modern, the old magic between the two main figures of the pre-war quintet is still evident. In April, Reinhardt recorded with the band that worked with him at the "Boeuf sur le toit" in Paris. After this residency came to an end, the guitarist accepted an oger to tour Belgium, for which he reassembled his 1941 quintet with clarinettist Hubert Rostaing. "Babik (BI-Bop)" from May 1947 proves that Django and his men were well aware of the new trends in jazz, while also still turning in the kind of music Django has played and recorded before the war. After this session for Decca during which he also used the electric guitar for the first time, the reshuffled quintet was recorded by the Blue Star label recently founded by Nicole and Eddie Barclay, The unusual 'Danse norvegienne" is followed by a particularly inspired "Blues For Barclay".
Le Bal Tabarin Cabaret 1944
this is a good quality copy. It shows "Django Reinhardt et son Orchestra" at Bal Tabarin in 1944. Django appears just after the sequence showing Marlene Dietrich at 1.50. The speed of his fingers and his vibrato are amazing. At the start of the clip, Gerard Leveque and Joseph Reinhardt can be seen in the background on stage. The background music does not appear on record anywhere and was almost certainly recorded at the gig. The tunes are "Night & Day", "Shorty George" and the opening sequence to "I Can't Give You Anything But Love". The voice that can be heard on a couple of occasions sounds very much like Charles Delaunay.
Django tuning up at the Boeuf
Rue Pigalle 1939
La Roulotte - Name of Django's own Night Club - later "Chez Django Reinhardt"
CLUB SAINT GERMAIN 13, rue Saint
The German occupation, paradoxically, is a rich moment for the life in St.Germain. Indeed, the German didn’t like much this part of Paris and avoided it. Wasn't her greatest pride , the quasi-absence of German soldiers during the Occupation, when the huns paraded fiercely on the Grands Boulevards, Opera, Champs Elysees. The intellectual and literary aura and prestige of St.Germain was sufficient to put them in discomfort!. An anecdote from the guide du Routard, (I quote): “In the winter Simone de Beauvoir came always first thing in the morning to the " Flore" to have a seat near the stove. It was so bitter cold elsewhere! Sartre recreated the atmosphere of an English club.. Everybody listened to jazz, read poems or played little acts.”
Pianist Eddie Barclay hosts during the occupation clandestine parties in a cellar in the rue Saint-Benoît Saint-Germain-des-Pres, where youth 'zazou' just listen to American jazz playing with his friends of his jazz band: Django Reinhardt, Boris Vian, Henri Salvador and Moustache. Eddie Barclay appears October 18, 1942 at the Festival de Jazz de Bordeaux.
It’s after the liberation that Saint-Germain became world known with its nightlife, its cave nightclubs, avant-garde music, jazz, and women in black pants and with long hair. The most representative of that period are Sidney Bechet, Claude Luter, Boris Vian and Juliette Greco (under the benevolent eye of Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Albert Camus, meeting in “Le Tabou” (rue Dauphine), in the club of the “Vieux Colombier”. American be-bop is the absolute trend. The area was one of the most animated in Paris! Even if the memory of that period is long time gone, something still remains. Don't forget, on the Place Saint-Germain , the Deux Magots is still there, even if it's become the most expensive coffee or any drink in Paris.
Dans un Club de St Germain-des-Pres. Paris. 1956.
At night in the famous cellars, such as " Le Bar Vert" or " Le Tabou" that caused such a scandal. In these cellars, artists listen to the New Orleans Jazz and the Be Bop, brought to the Club Saint Germain or to the Blue Note by Sidney Bechet, Miles Davis and Duke Ellington. Juliette Gréco and Anne- Marie Cazalis are the queens of those nights and launch the existentialist stream.
Lionel Hampton Club now Jazz Club Etoile
Born Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louise Virginia Smith in 1890’s West Virginia, she moved with her family when she was still a child to Chicago where, at a very tender age, she was caught up in the saloon life of the city. It was there that she acquired the nickname Bricktop for her flaming red hair and freckles. By the time she was sixteen, she was a touring vaudevillean and in her early twenties in New York City, she’d already changed the future of American entertainment by getting the young Duke Ellington one of this first gigs.
Chez Bricktop - where her headliner was Mabel Mercer. The celebrities of the day flocked to her club, including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Tallulah Bankhead and, of course, Cole Porter himself. Langston Hughes, of all people, was a busboy (or a dishwasher, depending on what you read) in her club. Josephine Baker was one of her protegés, and the two women enjoyed a lesbian affair for a time.
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