Hot Sugar at Jazz Cafe Montparnasse

Hot Sugar at Jazz Cafe Montparnasse
Martin McFie By

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Hot Sugar
Jazz Cafe, Montparnase
July 11, 2018

Montparsnasse is an area of Paris' 14th arrondissement, once famous for thinkers and artists who lingered over a coffee and talked into the night on the terraces of the famous Dome and Cupole cafes. There was some hard-driving swing jazz at the Jazz Cafe de Montparnasse in competition with a World Cup football match between France and rivals Belgium which filled the streets outside with noise. Hot Sugar, a 7-piece band played swing era tunes with an energy matched by the dancers celebrating a revival of the Lindy Hop dance craze in Paris at the moment. It requires youthful stamina and skill to dance like that. The band featured an Artie Shaw tune "Hop, Skip and Jump" which got the dancers doing exactly that with startling verve. In a quieter moment in their program, they played a Django Reinhardt tune "Louise" made famous by the charming Maurice Chevalier singing"Every little breeze seems to whisper Louise." The Glenn Miller song "Little Brown Jug" was enormously popular in the swing era and they played it to enthusiastic applause.

The group is led by clarinetist Corentin Giniaux whose brother Sébastian Giniaux is one of the gypsy jazz stars of the moment on guitar. On bass Julien Didier, trumpet and arrangements by Julien Ecrepont. Jonathan Gomis was on drums and Gwen Ollivier on piano while Jean-Philipe Scali played alto saxophone and Vincent Simonelli played guitar.

An excellent two course dinner, a tight band playing dance music and the fascination of watching people throw themselves into gymnastic dancing reminiscent of the 1940s, without ever having to get up from the table. A fun night in beautiful Paris.

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