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December 22, 2014

4

Jazz Manouche for Christmas

by soundlandscapes

IT’S THAT TIME OF year again and Paris is awash with its annual Christmas markets. This year, I’ve only explored two of these markets, the enormous one at La Défense and the one on my own doorstep, which is small, intimate and always a delight.

Christmas Market - Neuilly

My local Christmas market comprises thirty wooden châlets set out on Place de l’Hôtel de Ville and stretching down to the nearby church. These châlets host some exhibitors who come every year but also some new ones from different regions.

As well as the châlets with their gourmet foods and a variety of craft goods, there are the entertainers; a professional storyteller, a make-up artist, a balloon sculptor, magicians, clowns, jugglers and, of course, the street musicians.

This year we’ve been entertained once again by Alexandre l’Agodas: The pedlar of dreams and his barrel organ.

Christmas Market - Neuilly

Alexandre l’Agodas: Le colporteur de rêves et son orgue de barbarie 

And, as well as Russian Cossacks with traditional Russian music, we’ve had a Dixieland jazz quartet and a very impressive jazz duo.

Neuilly Christmas Market

But my favourites this year were the jazz quartet, Swing Manouche.

Neuilly Christmas Market

Swing Manouche

As their name suggests, Swing Manouche play in the gypsy swing, or gypsy jazz, style associated with Django Reinhardt in the 1930’s. Because this style largely originated in France it’s often called by the French name, ‘Jazz Manouche’.

And since I think that Django Reinhardt was a genius I was delighted to be able to record ‘Swing Manouche’ playing in my neck of the woods.

Neuilly Christmas Market

Jazz Manouche at my Christmas Market:

04

The three pieces I recorded of ‘Swing Manouche’ playing ends with a French Christmas favourite, Le Petit Papa Noël, which leads me neatly into wishing all of you who follow this blog regularly, as well as those who drop by as they’re passing, a very Happy Christmas and all you wish for yourselves in 2015.

Neuilly

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dec 22 2014

    Great images and audio!

    Reply
  2. hmunro
    Dec 22 2014

    Thank you for another wonderful year of sonic exploration, Des! May your Christmas be lovely, and may your new year be as lively and festive as the Swing Manouche trio.

    Reply
    • Dec 24 2014

      Thank you, Heather! It’s been an interesting sonic year for me and I’m very much looking forward to hunting out more Parisian sounds next year.

      Have a lovely Christmas and my best wishes to you both as always.

      Reply

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