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Frédéric Gomes at les Deux Moulins

Martin McFie By

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Frédéric Gomes
les Deux Moulins
Paris / Montmartre
June 13, 2019

To the right of the famous Moulin Rouge dinner show theatre in Paris, a narrow cobbled street rises towards Montmartre. It is rue Lepic, where Les Deux Moulins (the two windmills) is situated. It appears as a traditional Parisian brasserie, with good food in a bar/restaurant, neon and bright lights reflecting off the copper bartop and beer taps. This brasserie is a film star, it featured in the movie Amelie, who was played by heroine Audrey Tautou as a shy waitress who orchestrates and improves the lives of people around her to alleviate her own isolation.

On a warm Thursday evening they presented the romantic music of Paris played by Frederic Gomes, classic Parisian accordionist, joined by David Gastine on guitar and vocals, while John Dufossé carried the bass line.

They concentrated on French romantic ballads and gypsy jazz without forgetting some American jazz standards. They included "J'attendrai" (I will wait) which became an anthem during the occupation of Paris, because "La Marseillaise" was banned, "Honeysuckle Rose" from Fats Waller, Duke Ellington's "Caravan," "La Belle Vie," a Sacha Distel song later recorded by Tony Bennett as "The Good Life."

Setting the scene can be as important as the music. The street outside led up to the floodlit hilltop cathedral and artist village of Montmartre. In a typical brasserie where a romantic film had been made, sweet notes tripped off the accordion, swinging jazz and accompanying Gastine in well sung ballads. Evening came on, heralding a romantic candle lit ambiance, which owner M. Olivier strived to create as a backdrop for the music.

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