Bertrand Tavernier, veteran French director of Round Midnight, dies aged 79

Acclaimed film-maker won a string of awards for a wide variety of films, including crime and film noir, as well as his celebrated film about a jazz musician

Bertrand Tavernier, the veteran French director of a host of acclaimed films including A Sunday in the Country, Round Midnight and These Foolish Things, has died aged 79. The news was announced by the Institut Lumière, the film organisation of which he was president. No cause of death was given.

Tavernier’s output was prolific: he made his directorial debut in 1974 with The Clockmaker of St Paul and worked continuously until 2013, when he released his final feature film, The French Minister. He also took in a wide variety of material, from crime and noir, to comedy, jazz and historical drama.

Born in Lyon in 1941, Tavernier was the son of magazine publisher René Tavernier, whose anti-Nazi principles would greatly influence Bertrand. Like the generation of French New Wave directors that slightly preceded him, Tavernier grew up as a film obsessive; having moved to Paris after the war, he founded his own magazine and managed to get a job as an assistant director to Jean-Pierre Melville on the 1961 film Léon Morin, Prêtre. By his own admission, he was so bad as an AD that Melville instead made him the publicist for its follow-up, Le Doulos. It was in this role that Tavernier made his first mark in the film industry, working as a publicist on a series of New Wave classics, including Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt and Agnés Varda’s Cleo de 5 à 7. “We were the first film publicists who were film buffs – we only accepted the films we liked,” he told the Guardian in 2008.

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Record Review: Annabelle Chvostek “String of Pearls”


An album for those who reckon there’s just not enough singer-songwriters celebrating the French and Weimar cabaret era, the former Wailin’ Jennys member Annabelle Chvostek digs into her East European heritage alongside her Canadian background and marital Uruguayan influences for this gloriously ebullient sixth album ‘Strong of Pearls’. Co-produced, from Montevideo, by composer and multi-instrumentalist, Fernando Rosa who assembled an array of tango and classical musicians to evoke the days of 30s tango and jazz swing while, back home in Toronto, David Travers-Smith recruited members of the gypsy jazz scene alongside regular drummer Tony Spina. Added to all this, Chvostek drew on her time as artist-in-residence with the city’s Echo Women’s Choir to work on the vocal arrangements.

She raises the curtain, singing in both French and English on the frisky brushed snares flapper shuffle Je T’ai Vu Hier Soir (I Saw You Last Night),  keeping the swing sizzling with the double bass, clarinet, mandolin and classical guitar feline slinkiness of the title track, not the Glenn Miller number but certainly evoking a similar vintage. Continue reading “Record Review: Annabelle Chvostek “String of Pearls””

‘The Eddy’ On Netflix Shows The Gritty Jazzy Reality Of Paris

The first two episodes were directed by ‘La La Land’ director Damien Chazelle.

The new mini-series The Eddy has just been released on Netflix. The first two episodes were directed by La La Land director Damien Chazelle. This is no La La Land. The Eddy is certainly not a romance told through musical dancing numbers. It is a series that aspires to be gritty and true to Parisian living, without falling into the stereotypical postcard image of the city of lights.

The Eddy begins in a jazz club. A handheld camera follows a waiter as the house band performs on stage. The camera swirls from one side to the other, framing each band member in some very strange angles until it turns its attention to the audience, and settles on one man in particular, the main character of the series.

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Watch Naïssam Jalal Collection in concert at the Martinique Jazz Festival 2019

Franco-Syrian flautist Naïssam Jalal thrills the Martinique Jazz Festival to the sound of her powerful compositions. Originally from Syria, the musician has built her musical universe around her many human and artistic encounters. From rap to contemporary jazz, Naïssam Jalal oscillates between different musical cultures. In 2011, the flautist created her quintet Rhythms of Resistance with which she would tour in France and internationally.

Winner of the Victoires du jazz 2019, her unclassifiable album “Quest of the Invisible” turns to trance and silence: the virtuoso takes us on her spiritual quest. After several projects across France, Syria, Japan, Lebanon , Tunisia, Naïssam Jalal marks the 2019 edition of the Martinique Jazz Festival. 

Watch more of the concert at: Jazz Tour Naïssam Jalal Collection in concert at the Martinique Jazz Festival 2019