'Eulipian Vision' is a Meeting 'First'

photo: group; farris, katherine, doug

From left, the 'Whole Group Photo of the Week'
with Farris, Katherine and Doug.

So Is Shicoutimi

Paris:- Thursday, 5. June 2003:- For the past several days we have been warned about storms. These may have happened very quickly because I didn't notice them. Instead it has been cloudy in the mornings and partly sunny in the afternoons, and agreeable in the evenings.

Temperatures, as forecast on Monday, have been said to be 23 degrees, but it has felt warmer. It has also been humid, but not terribly so.

Tonight's TV-weather news was something I didn't grasp. It was only for tomorrow anyway, so I have to consult this morning's Le Parisien to get beyond Friday - because, ha ha - we have another long weekend. It is called 'lundi de Pentecôte' here, and follows plain Pentecôte on Sunday.

Lemmesee. Friday is 'Ouf!' with 24 degrees. A 'high' is supposed to install itself, giving us blue skies. This is to continue on Saturday with cool drinks because the temperature will hop up two degrees.

But on Sunday the humidity returns with a heat drop of two degrees, to 24, and then Monday is supposed to be 'feverish' with another rise in temperature, of one degree. On all of these days it should be mostly sunny except when it is mostly cloudy.

All in all it sounds plausible. But the weather is acting weird and if last Saturday is anything to go by, it might just spin off its top and dump another couple of kilos of hail on Montmartre.

Whatever it is, today is not a 'Hawaiian Shirt Day' so I don't wear any of mine. It is agreeable outside and even the semi-on-strike métro is okay because it is a free ride and the train comes as soon as I reach my habitual position on the platform.

However there must be fewer trains than usual because passengers are packed in like oily sardines byphoto: farris smith jr the time the train reaches Châtelet. The amateurs panic as usual, worried they won't be able to get off, and the pros hang back waiting for the mess to clear so they can stroll off into the face of hordes of other amateurs afraid they won't get on.

Farris plans to introduce smokeless jazz to Paris.

The worst never happens. 'Pro' riders always give way to let the amateurs escape, even if they have to step off the train for a moment. This is done in such a way as to block anxious amateurs from getting on, so the temporary off-boarders can get back on first.

For various reasons I have arrived early on the Rue de Rivoli. The ex-Samaritaine building is almost complete for its new tenants and some of them have moved in while finishing touches are still being finished.

The whole world will be pleased to hear that there is now a brand spanking new sushi department store within a riceball throw of the Pont Neuf. This must be the only type of clothes shop the Rue de Rivoli lacks, even if it is a block off it.

I am tolerant about this. Let the people have cheap clothes! Twenty-five euro shirts are a bargain even if you can see through their thin cotton. Why not sushi next to Pont Neuf? There aren't even any other cafés around within a block. People crossing the shadeless bridge might be hungry after their trek.

But I am still too early so I walk up the west side of Samaritaine back to the Rue de Rivoli and go past the Loto wagering boutique and around the corner past the métro exit where I am hailed by name from behind.

Club member Farris Smith Jr catches up and we walk together to the café La Corona, and occupy the club's area in the empty 'grande salle.'

Farris joined the club last December, after coming over to Paris from San Francisco. This time, Farris tells me, he's come with his contrabass, his electric contrabass and an electric bass guitar.

I am so busy trying to figure out how to spell 'contrabass' that I forget to ask him how he got all of these instruments on one airplane. I am sure many readers would like to know too, so I'll try to remember to ask Farris next time I see him.

But in the meantime consider this - Farris Smith is in Paris with the intention of opening a smoke-free jazz club. Club members who live in Paris may want leap to their keyboards to write emails warning about the implausibility of this notion.

But wait! Hold your itchy fingers! Don't movie fans sit through endless episodes of 'Star Wars' withoutphoto: farris cd presentation smoking? Don't millions of visitors spend zillions of hours walking around museums without smoking? Don't opera fans sit though long - sometimes very long - music sessions without smoking?

The neat introductory booklet put together by Farris.

Farris is a jazzman with a mission. The immediate reaction to this idea by another musician was, 'the musicians would like it.' Jazzfans could take their kids too - which is usually impossible because the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says kids aren't supposed to be exposed to cruel and unusual treatment, like smoke.

Farris gives me an introductory booklet he has put together. Its title is 'Eulipian Vision.' This has been borrowed from Roland Kirk's 'Journey agent's duty-free gift to the traveller,' which radio FIP plays occasionally but regularly.

The booklet also contains a jazz-CD, produced and performed by Farris, with Damu Sudi Alii, Michael James and Achyutan - with six pieces on it, by Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery and Miles Davis.

Doug Fuss drops in suddenly. Savannah has, he says, "Vinyl shirt weather." I take Doug's word for it. Coming to Paris is Doug's form of air conditioning.

On a social note, both Farris and Doug arrived on June's first 'Mardi Noir' on Tuesday. They were on different flights, but it just proves that no matter how strike-stricken Paris may be, you can always land here. Which is a good thing, because Doug says, "I came on a flight from hell," and he's not referring to Savannah this time.

Talking about banking in France for Farris' benefit, Doug says, "I found a bargain in Paris!" Dougphoto: doug fuss went straight fro Roissy to Roland Garros, where he found scalpers demanding 150euro 3 sign for tickets.

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