The heroes in Woody Allen’s film Midnight in Paris about which I wrote about a few days ago dream to a ‘golden age’ of their own in the past which they idealize and would like to live in rather then in their disturbed presents. I am quite happy with my present, but if I were to chose a time and a place I would love to visit depending on availability of tickets on a time machine this would be Paris in the 50s and especially the jazz clubs of the period. I would not mind crossing steps and listening to Charlie Parker, Miles Davis or Boris Vian. Some of the jazz clubs in Paris keep the resonance of their sounds in their walls and especially the spirit. That is why we chose to spend our first night in Paris listening to jazz.

Sunset-Sunside has actually a shorter history and was started only in 1983, but became soon one of the best known jazz clubs in Paris. It is located on Rue des Lombards, close to the Pompidou Center, one of the areas to go if you want to listen to good live music. Name an important jazz musician, French, American or from any other part of the world who created during this period from Miles Davies and Herbie Hancock to Wynton Marsalis or Didier Lockwood and good chances will be that he played at Sunset. Since 2001 there are two halls in the same complex – the unserground Sunset dedicated to electric jazz, magnet jazz and world music and the ground level Sunside where mostly acoustic jazz is played. Performances are being hold in both halls every evening, seven days a week, all over the year. A restaurant and a bar is open most of the day, and especially before and after the shows.

The performer of the night was guitarist David Reinhardt, the younger performer in a dynasty of jazz manouche guitarists that starts with Django Reinhardt, his grandfather whose centenary was celebrated last year and continues with Babik Reinhardt, Dango’s son and David’s father to whom the performance at Sunset was dedicated. For the occasion David changed his usual trio or quintet formats to a trio that included organist Emmanuel Bex, the longtime partner of his father.

(video source harmonik9)

Despite being only in his mid 20s David Reinhardt is an accomplished artist, with a great technique, sensibility and understanding of the genre he grew in. While the three sets of the evening were mostly structured around compositions of his father or around the genre that he practiced, it will be interesting to follow the development of his talents, which have the potential to spread much beyond the borders of the family tradition.

(video source ivelane64)

Emmanuel Bex is in exceptional musician by himself, and his role in the evening was equal to David’s and even shading the young guitarist at certain moments. Bex not only makes great music, he is living it in a style and with an intensity great musicians do. The music the two played was both respectful for the tradition and innovative in its details and precise in execution, a truthful homage to the jazz manouche style which they proved is alive and vibrating.