Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Bit of France comes to the Library

France was on my mind when I went to Thursday’s accordion concert, Lunch at the Library featuring Linda Gibson. She gave the history behind her accordion and the kinds of music she played: gypsy swing, Cajun music and zydeco. She performed “Under Paris Skies” and tunes popularized by Stephane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt, Clifton Chenier and others. Toddlers and adults swayed to the music; the concert ended with everyone joining in on “Jambalaya”. My neighbor mentioned to me that all we needed were berets and loaves of French bread to complete the experience.

 Why had France come to mind?

The song “Under Paris Skies” is featured on the DVD series Maigret and I had just read a reissue of an early Georges Simenon novel featuring Maigret, Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien. I could easily picture myself trailing along with Maigret as he follows a shabbily-dressed traveler who then commits suicide. Maigret keeps investigating; it leads him to a crime ten years earlier whose consequences continue to haunt a group of young men.

Simenon’s novels are short but very atmospheric; not police procedurals per se, but philosophical views of crime, criminals and the human condition. The DVD series captures the mood of the books perfectly.

For more of that touch of France, watch Maigret and/or read further Maigret adventures. If music is your thing , we have many CDs of Reinhardt and Grappelli. You can also catch performances of Reinhardt and Grappelli on Youtube.

Bonne chance!

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