An introduction to Paris jazz (and where to find it)

Meet Alex Freiman: Bookseller by day and Jazz musician by night. He’s the man behind the jazz nights at the Blitz Society, a chess/jazz club in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighbourhood.

The idea, he says, is to play on the “natural combination” of jazz and chess, while bringing live jazz back to Saint-Germain-des-Prés (which played host to the 1950s golden era of Jazz music in Paris).

We watched a gig this week, and then for this week’s episode revisited a chat with Alex about the jazz scene in Paris, the trouble with how La La Land depicted the Paris jazz scene, and even the day the Notre Dame burned (he was across the road).

The Earful Tower Podcast Episode

This interview was recorded in the Square René Viviani park beside the Shakespeare and Company bookshop, where Alex works as a bookseller. You’ll hear passersby in the background, the occasional church bell, and the crunch of Parisian gravel under people’s feet as they walk past.

Note: You can also find this podcast episode on Spotify, iTunes, Android… and everywhere else you find podcasts.

Some of the jazz spots Alex recommends in the show include Le Duc des Lombard, Sunset/Sunside, and New Morning (where Prince used to play). Here’s a map with all the Paris jazz clubs mentioned in this episode (you can click the icons for more info).

Trip map courtesy of Wanderlog, a vacation planner app on iOS and Android

To get Alex’s album, Play It Gentle, click here or head to his YouTube channel to hear his latest music. You can follow him on Instagram here.

If you want more from this very podcast episode, the transcript is available in the form of The Earful Gazette, just for Patreon members. Here’s a sneak peek below.

Do you want to support this work? Buy one of our books below, or even better, become a Patreon member and unlock loads of Paris bonus content, including our 2023 PDF guide to the city.

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