Bonjour de Paris ...
It is hard to believe that we are into our fifth winter season in Paris. We are told that it could be colder than normal. So far nothing out of the ordinary but as past experience has taught us, we have a very long way to go before it will feel like spring is here. As for now, we can distract ourselves by taking in the beauty of Christmastime in the city of lights.
Champs-Elysées decorated for Christmas.
Thanksgiving came and went quickly this year. Leslie and I managed to enjoy a dinner at home together on Wednesday evening. On Thursday we began three nights at Chez Papa Jazz Club and so went our fifth Thanksgiving Holiday in Paris. I miss the way we celebrated the holiday when we lived in California. As I am sure is the case with most of your celebrations, ours was always about family, friends and spending some time together without any pressures from work, etc. There were of course the guilty pleasures of excess eating, excess watching of TV, and not caring because those things were all a part of the holiday. (You might have guessed that I have never been a willing participant of Black Friday Christmas shopping.)
Last December Leslie did three nights with jazz organist Rhoda Scott at Jazz Club Etoile in Paris. That engagement resulted in a “Live” CD with the tracks being chosen from material recorded during those three nights. That CD was released in Europe last June. Yesterday, Leslie was invited to join Rhoda for a concert in Budapest, Hungary next month. They will be doing some music from the CD as well as some Christmas and gospel music.
Leslie with Rhoda Scott and Eugénie at Jazz Club Etoile in Paris.
Rhoda Scott's new recording. Leslie is on three tracks.
As far as our musical adventures are concerned, we are booking dates into next August. After being in Paris for all of November and December, it looks like we will be hitting the road again next year. Although we both love to tour, I have to admit it has been nice to leave the suitcases in the closet and be sedentary for a while.
Finally we feel like we have things in place in order to seriously begin working on our next recording. Much of the music has already been chosen and we have some good ideas for a studio where we can comfortably do the tracking sessions. One of the biggest concerns is choosing the right mix of musicians to get the best results. We don’t have a set European band like we had in California, so it’s a little more difficult to be sure which players will gel with one another.
We are working at Le Speakeasy on Christmas Eve, but we have Christmas Day free and we have plans to celebrate with some friends. Tomorrow we are going in search of our Christmas Tree. We are at a loss as to where exactly to find one in our neighborhood, but we have to find someplace close because we will be carrying it home on foot. So the plan is to walk around till we find someplace where we can purchase it. Ho Ho Ho!
Christmas lights on our little street...Rue Princesse (at 2:45 am).
Starting on Dec. 27th, we are doing five nights at Chez Papa Jazz Club culminating with a big concert on Dec. 31st. One of many great things about working at this club is that we can walk there from our home in about 5 minutes. Which, on New Year’s Eve, is very nice since taxis are almost non-existent in Paris that night and the Metro/Bus system is a bit dodgy in the wee hours after people have been drinking for most of the night. But the most exciting thing is that we are hoping to have an “all California” band that week. As of now, we have confirmed that Joey Sellers will be here to work with us on Dec. 29-30-31. We are still waiting for another confirmation that we hope is forthcoming, making that week an all California band.
Joey Sellers, will be in Paris to perform with us over the New Years Holiday.
We are currently discussing the possibility of a California trip perhaps next summer but most likely in the fall since our summer is beginning to get booked up.
Please check our website for our December dates. We have the usual jazz club gigs in and around Paris. While you are there, sign up for our weekly email blast to learn where you can hear us.
Until next time,
Leslie and Gerard
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