Montmartre, Forever toujours…

Paris legendary village on the hilltop is revisited through a juxtapositon of contemporary photographs and postcards produced a century ago, at a time when it was home to such Bohemian artists as Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir and Degas. Historian Pierre Passot, a life-long resident of the Butte, makes Montmartre’s streets come alive with tales from its poetic past.  by Pierre Passot with photos by Jean Villain (Edition Artena) BR

The Parisian Jazz Chronicles:

In his Beat-like jaunt through the Parisian and European jazz scene, Mike Zwerin is not unlike Jack Kerouac, Mezz Mezzrow, or Hunter S. Thompson – writers to whom, for different reasons, he owes some allegiance. What makes him special is his devotion to the troubled musicians he idolizes, and a passion for music that is blessedly contagious. Many jazz fans will be familiar with Zwerin’s witty, irreverent and undeniably hip music reviews and articles published in the International Herald Tribune that have entertained us for decades. Based in Paris, or, rather, “stuck” there, as he likes to say, Mike Zwerin who’s been a music critic for the Trib since 1979, also had a distinguished career as a trombonist. When he was just 18 years old, he was invited by Miles Davis to play alongside Gerry Mulligan, John Lewis, and Max Roach in the band that was immortalized as “The Birth of the Cool.” “The Parisian Jazz Chronicles” constitute an engaging personal account of the jazz scene in Paris in the 1980s and 1990s. Zwerin writes lovingly but unsparingly about figures he knew and interviewed – such as Dexter Gordon, Freddy Heineken, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Chet Baker, Wayne Shorter, and Melvin Van Peebles. Against this background, he speaks of further allegiances (split between journalism and music, America and France…), while recounting his own life peopled by personal battles (a solitary struggle for sobriety, a failing marriage, and fatherhood…). 

 

In Praise of Joy

This is a collection of essays dedicated to Paris’ most written about expat. Over the past 25 years, Jim Haynes has become famous for his Sunday night dinners, a modern-day take on the “salon” concept where artists, writers and intellectuals mingle over a plate of hot food and a glass of wine. Culture has always been central to Haynes’ life and since leaving the United States in the 1950s, he has, among other things, started the Traverse Theatre, participated in creating the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, launched several magazines and been awarded the Whitbread prize. These essays, written by friends and colleagues, capture perfectly his way of life and involvement in the arts as well as his love of people and gift for friendship. In addition to the essays, the book also includes a selection of personal photographs, drawings and letters documenting Haynes unusual existence.  Reviewed by Alice Quillet

Sarah Turnbull “Almost French”

Navigating  the highs and lows of Parisian life. Sarah Turnbull Despite having failed French in her first year at university, Sarah Turnbull moved to this country from Sydney in the mid-’90s after falling in love with a “very French Frenchman.” Her new book, “Almost French,” recounts the charming, true story of a young Australian’s odyssey, “navigating” the highs and lows of Parisian life.

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