Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Jazz Is Not Dead!

On my vacation recently in Paris I went down to the Metro. A train must have just pulled out because there was no one on the platform except for a man.

He was lanky and tall and seemed to be contemplating the wall.  Suddenly took out a black marker and begin to draw on an advertisement.  It took him perhaps thirty second.

In bold, black strokes he was shaping something.

It took a moment, but soon I could see that it was a trumpet.  When he turned and saw me standing there, he was clearly upset.  He thought his action had gone unseen.  He stared at me with a gaunt face, but there was something playful in his eyes.

I made a motion with my hands. "It's a trumpet?" I asked.

Relieved that he wasn't going to be arrested, he nodded yes.

"Where's it playing?" I asked in French.

"Everywhere," he replied. Then with a shrug of his shoulders and a wry smile he disappeared on to the train that had just appeared.  He took it one station; then I watched him slip away.

But he was right.  I began to see his trumpets everywhere.  And I began documenting them.  Here are all the ones that I found.  I liked the statement he's making on all the subway ads, but mostly I like his trumpet.  It was always the same.

And clearly at least in Paris as another graffiti below says, jazz is not dead!