As part of our 'musical destinations' series we travelled to Paris to visit the jazz establishment Caveau de la Huchette. Discovering a beautiful new city is wonderful but discovering rare gems in a city you already think you know is extra special and Caveau de la Huchette is surely that.
A rough diamond this jazz enclave in the Latin Quarter dates back to the 16th century and if you shuffle down the smaller of the back two labyrinth like stone staircases a little too quickly the original solid stone overhang will, in no uncertain terms, remind you of that. When you enter the cellar styled domed cavern you are immediately transported back in time. Jazz, of course, has only entertained the select audiences here for the last 68 years and it even inspired the creation of The Cavern Club in Liverpool now forever entwined in Beatles history.
The sparsely covered stone walls and local crowd lend the chamber a local village hall feel, bustling with anticipation at tonight's spectacle and I was heartened to see that we were the only tourists here tonight.
The Pablo Campos Trio are Basque Coast jazz musicians now residing in Bordeaux and tonight boasted a fourth member Australian guitarist Dave Blenkhorn lending the proceedings a more international flavour. Their brand of traditional swing is perfectly encapsulated in their debut album The Bare Necessities. They were joined by a brass section and their classic sound filled the perfect space with style and finesse.
With seats and tables only at the chamber peripheries this left a small but well trodden area for revellers to showcase their dancing which was equally as enjoyable as the band them themselves.
The upstairs cavern bar offers a more comfortable sofa filled area in which to relax with a friendly barman to cater for your needs.
With various entry prices ranging from 10-40 Euros dependant on band - Caveau de la Huchette is the perfect setting to kick back and relax with some great live jazz in an unpretentious, dark and romantic setting. Thoroughly recommended. We'll be back.