Tuesday, July 17, 2012

For Chris (and other jazz lovers)

We spent our penultimate night in Paris at Duc de Lombards, a well known jazz club that showcases musicians from around the world.  We "discovered" this place in 2000 when it was at a different, more modest location.  In any case, we heard a terrific quintet led by the trumpeter Dominick Farinacci.  Besides Farinacci's truly excellent horn, the group included a piano, stand-up bass, drums, and percussion. 

The best song of the night, "Tango No. 3," was written by Farinacci himself.  The set also included standards such as a terrific arrangement of Cole Porter's "It's Alright With Me" and, as a bit of a tribute to the home folks, Jacque Brel's "Ne Me Quitte Pas."

However, the true star of the show was the pianist, Kris Bowers.  Wow.  From his first solo to his last, he was absolutely amazing.  I got the feeling that in about a decade, I'll be able to say that "I saw Kris Bowers in Paris in 2012 before he really hit it big."  My initial sense was that he was part Thelonious Monk (above) and, given his ability to play such that if you closed your eyes you'd swear there were two pianos, Art Tatum.

And then late in the set, Farinacci revealed that Bowers had won the most recent Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition.  He was unbelievable.  And he's 23 years old.

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