Jazz Manouche – La Chope des Puces

Today, I took Jordan out for the afternoon to hear ‘gypsy jazz.’ Gigi was resting, hoping to rally against the cold that is now dogging her. Justin stayed behind in the apartment with IMG_2519her. The weather continued to be poopy – around freezing with light snow flurries but nothing sticking on the ground. We headed out to Saint Ouen on the north side of the city where there is the ‘Marche des Puces’, and a jazz manouche club called Le Chope des Puces – Espace Django Rheinhardt. This is considered the epicenter of gypsy jazz in Paris. Open air markets and arcades of antique shops dominate the neighborhood. When we arrived, I was surprised to see just how small this jazz bar was. Two guitarists were pressed against the front window and behind the entrance door. There was a bar and 4 tables, and it was full. We had read that there was a restaurant behind in another room, which is where we headed. The room’s walls were covered with guitars in glass cases and jazz memorabilia; carousel horses were also present. The room was full with a music-seeking lunch crowd that did not match the motley crew of people outside in the street Marché. Jordan and I had an excellent lunch ordered off a chalkboard that IMG_2527already had many items erased. This kitchen was home cookin’; you got a meal that the chef was cooking up from seasonal and available ingredients. We could hear the music through the hallway and from speakers, and we could see the players on TV’s with closed-circuit cameras. For the past few months, we have been listening to 3 CD’s of gypsy jazz/gypsy swing that we bought on the street in Provence. Here, we were hearing the live version, and it was beautiful. I wonder if some day Jordan will be playing guitar like these players.

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