Paris Right Bank Jazz Clubs: New Morning, Sunside-Sunset, Duc des Lombards and Etoile Jazz

Written by admin on January 28, 2012 – 11:43 am -

NEW MORNING, PARIS 10TH

If you’re looking for elegant décor and a place to wear your finest, New Morning isn’t the club for you. Designer Philippe Starck hasn’t been near the establishment. Were he to perform renovation, it wouldn’t be the same. It’s the quintessential jazz club where people are more intent about listening and feeling the music than sitting in über-chic surroundings.

Located in the slightly edgy 10th arrondissement, people crowd into the large room and hover around small tables and café chairs that don’t scream comfort. The club recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. Since opening, it’s been reputed to be one of Paris’s most reliable jazz (and more) emporiums. French and foreign performers gravitate here.

Besides headliners like Roy Hargrove (below), Marlena Shaw, Esperanza Spalding, The Yellow Jackets, Ron Carlton, Kurt EllingLarry Coryell, et al., you never know who you’ll find jamming here because even pop music stars like Jimmy Buffett drop by for impromptu sets after performing across town. Buffett has stopped by after his annual September gigs for several years. Equally good are back-up musicians from arena shows who stop by very late, with or without the headliners.

Roy Hargrove at New Morning. Publicity photo, New Morning.

New Morning is a jazz club of world repute, but jazz is no longer the only type of music performed. Check the program before heading out or making a reservation because if you’re not a salsa lover or aren’t into funk and groove, you may be disappointed. Tickets can be purchased via the club’s website where you’ll be redirected to the FNAC Ticket Office booking site. New Morning opens at 8pm and although performances don’t begin until 9pm, arrive early. Up to 600 patrons can be accommodated here, which in Paris terms is enormous. Even though it’s large, you’ll be amazed by how polite people are when it comes to not making noise. They leave it to the musicians.

7-9, rue des Petites Écuries, Paris 10th

SUNSIDE-SUNSET JAZZ CLUB, PARIS 1ST

Head toward Châtelet to the rue des Lombards in the 1st arrondissement and at #60 you’ll find Sunside-Sunset Jazz Club. This was the first music venue to open on the rue des Lombards and started out as a restaurant with jazz performances in its vaulted-ceiling cave in the basement. When it opened in 1983, it showcased fusion music. At the end of 1984, the club became more structured when Dany Michel became an official programmer, adding more jazz to the performance schedule.

Ben Sidran (keys), Leo Sidran (drums) & Billy Peterson (bass) at Sunside-Sunset

By the late ’80s, the Sunside-Sunset was on the must-perform list for American jazz artists touring Europe, especially after Jean-Marie Durand (AKA Balzano) switched from bartender to the club’s artistic director. His wife, American jazz great Dee Dee Bridgewater, recorded one of her best albums, Live in Paris, at New Morning in 1986. Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock frequented the club and it was the hot and happening place to go.

These days, don’t miss “Dr. Jazz” Ben Sidran (photo above) when he returns for shows here or at New Morning. He’s often backed by son Leo on drums, and one of the world’s best jazz bass players, Billy Peterson. Multiple Grammy-winning artist “Billy P” has backed up recording artists in all musical genres, from Bob Dylan to Prince, Steve Miller, Oleta Adams, John Patitucci, David Sanborn, Kenny Loggins and more. He’s a rare “musician’s musician” from a talented musical family that performs around the world.

60, rue des Lombards, Paris 1st

Info Line: 01 4026 4660

DUC DES LOMBARDS, PARIS 1ST

Duc des Lombards, another happening place, is the second jazz club on the street. It’s more intimate and even though it’s attracted many greats in the jazz world, it’s not unusual for local artists to meet to jam together. Because the two clubs are so closely situated, aficionados tend to patronize both depending on who is playing what and on which day.

Regina Carter in her November 2011 show at Duc des Lombards. Photo by Ph Marchin

The club features a mix of all forms of jazz, and recent international headliners include Ramsey Lewis, Terence Blanchard Quintet, Regina Carter, John Scofield, Gerald Clayton Trio and Scott Hamilton (the three latter performed on Diana Krall’s epic Live at the Olympic disc) and up-and-comers like The Kyle Eastwood Band (check out Clint’s son on video). There’s a reason why Paris is known for its light and its jazz.

Catch many fine performances on the Duc des Lombards’ video channel on YouTube

42, rue des Lombards, Paris 1st

Étoile Jazz Club AKA Lionel Hamptonat Le Méridien Étoile, Paris 17th

If you’re staying closer to the Étoile, a perfect last stop for the evening is the Le Méridien Étoile’s Jazz Club, also known as the Lionel Hampton Jazz Club. Its décor is more elegant than some of Paris’s down, out and under destinations with a beat. It feels more like a cocktail lounge, but don’t fear: it attracts some very good talent. If you’re hungry, you can take a brief mental exodus to Japan and order some sushi.

Etoile Jazz Club publicity photo

People from the world over follow the music. However, because of Le Méridien’s location on the edge of the 17th across the street from one of the main Paris conference centers at Porte Maillot, only three métro stops from La Défense, where many multinational headquarters are based, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Club is a hangout for many who come to Paris on business. After all, everyone needs a respite after dark.

81, boulevard Gouvion Saint-Cyr, Paris 17th

PHOTO CREDITS: Roy Hargrove at New Morning publicity photo; Duc des Lombards publicity photo by ©Ph Marchin; Ben Sidran and band at SUNSIDE-SUNSET ©LR; Regina Carter at Duc des Lombards publicity photo by ©Ph Marchin; and Étoile Jazz Club publicity photo.


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