Friday, January 9, 2009

After all the schmoozing and bustle of the Holidaze Tour, Marti & I were looking forward to a quiet, intimate New Year's celebration.

On the 31st we enjoyed a four-course gourmet dinner at La Rôtisserie d'en Face, a bistro we'd been meaning to try for years.

The Rôtisserie is an annexe of Michelin chef Jacques Cagna. Our dinner:

Coupe de Champagne

Soupe de petits crabes verts au lait de coco et citronnelle (Marti)
Royal de Homard, mousse de céleri (Phil)

2007 Chablis

Escalope de saumon d’Ecosse rôtie en croûte de sésame, vinaigrette d’herbes fraîches, épinards frais sautés "minute"(Marti)
Canard colvert rôti à la broche, jus aux épices et gratin de potiron au parmesan (Phil)

2002 Graves

Sélection de fromages fermiers

Tarte Tatin aux pommes Boskoop et crème normande épaisse (Marti)
Le Paris-Brest de Jacques Cagna (Phil)


After dinner we strolled down the rue Christine one block to ring in the New Year at the Café Laurent with our friend pianist Christian Brenner, who was accompanied by bassist François Fuchs. This is our favorite hang on the Left Bank. A sophisticated, elegant ambience with impeccable jazz. Farewell, 2008.

And hello again to Flavien ("Flavor Flav"), debonair proprietor of the Café Laurent. A few nights later Marti and I returned for another evening of jazz.

This time we heard the Christian Brenner Trio with guest Marc Thomas on sax and vocals.

By the second set the session had turned into jam-a-rama. The irascible M. Thomas called guest musician after guest musician to the mic, gleefully announcing their cellphone numbers (always the same number). Michael was the first to duet with Marc on "Georgia On My Mind."

Next we heard Christophe kicking down some serious scat . . .

. . . followed by Sophie ("Lover Man") . . .

. . . Sévrine on oboe . . .

. . . Cyril's "Watermelon Man" was offered in hommage to the recently departed Freddie Hubbard . . .

. . . and Paul from London soloed on "The Girl From Ipanema." It was virtually a one-night jazz festival!

Late in the evening Michael Herrman and his wife Julie arrived at the Café Laurent. They had just been sprung from an interminable dinner with friends in Versailles. Michael is the lead singer-guitarist for the Portland, Oregon-based band Buoy LaRue (pictured above). The live jazz was now over but our bartender Flavor Flav let us remain for awhile after hours.

When he finally threw us out, the four of us repaired to another late-night joint in the Buci market until 3:30 or so. Marti and I truly enjoyed chatting with these folks, who were referred to us by Jerry Joseph. He and Michael share drummer Steve Drizos in their bands. Julie does consulting to charitable non-governmental organizations, fascinating work that takes her all around the globe.

I hooked up with Julie and Michael again the next day near the apartment where they were staying. We drank warm spiced wine at a café that Julie had spied earlier.

Michael told me of his plans to tour Europe this coming summer behind Buoy LaRue's excellent new release Spin Out Of This. We'll be there.

Enroute to the Louvre-Palais Royal Métro station we encountered a funky horny street band. The music never stops.

On Monday it finally snowed in Paris. Nothing to rival those 1980s blizzards in Washington. Pretty, though.

Marti & I were happy to be back home.