Imagine you are in a bistro near Place De La Bastille, right now.
On the table un demi panaché or une tasse de café; un croque-monsieur.
The band at the terrasse plays swing, gypsy jazz, waltzes, musette, a song you know.
A guitar, a clarinet or a violin, an accordion maybe?
A couple dancing, les yeux dans les yeux.
Just as if Charles Trenet, Jacques Brel, Yves Montant, Georges Brassens, Serge Gainsbourg, Tino Rossi, Edith Piaf, Boris Vian, Django Reinhardt, Gus Viseur and Jo Privat were playing together for a enchanting musical evening.
Our repertoire goes from the classics (Les Feuilles Mortes, C'est Si Bon, Ménilmontant, J'Attendrai, La Foule, Sous Le Ciel De Paris) to more modern (Il Est Cinq Heures Paris S'Éveille, Le Poinçonneur Des Lilas, Vesoul), and even Polkas, Tangos, Auvergne Bourrées and Celtic folk.
All the songs are sung in French by a native Parisian chanteur, with music on accordion, guitar, mandolin, flute and clarinet.
You've heard these songs before. You cannot remember the lyrics, nor the titles. But you knew them. A movie, an old record, Trenet, Brassens, Django, a faint memory from your last trip to France, or the one you wish you'd taken...
The guys are SO MUCH FUN! We had them play for our wedding, including the pre-ceremony welcome hour and the cocktail hour, and they were a perfect fit. We just told them a few tunes that we enjoy and turned them loose. Even some of our professional musician friends and a few guests from Paris were impressed we found such a great band. Beyond that, they're just really wonderful guys who were incredibly easy to work with. I highly recommend them!
(From Chris and Sarah's wedding, May 2018)
The band, Paris-born Olivier on guitar and mandolin, Richard Southwick, guitar and clarinet, and Charlie Hancock, accordion, was brilliant, keeping perfect time to very quick rhythms and coming up with fascinating solos. It was the first time I’d seen gypsy jazz guitars in person — I love the way they look, and the sound is quite different from the acoustic guitars I’m used to. Do catch this band! They play at wine bars in SF and Oakland and will be returning, with La Guingette to the Monkey House!
(From Kathryne Cassis, Monkey House concert June 2017)