Tunes on Tuesday: Afternoon In Paris

Why this tune?

I was re-introduced to “Afternoon In Paris” at a recent jam session in Washington, DC, when a guest sax player called the tune. This composition by pianist John Lewis isn’t a particularly popular tune in the jazz “canon.” Second Hand Songs lists 75 recordings of the tune, many fewer than “hits” like “Body and Soul” or “All The Things You Are.” It’s a lovely tune, however, and offers plenty of opportunity for creative arrangement and soloing.

I decided to play it for this week’s Tunes On Tuesday after coming across the tune on John Lewis’ 1960 album “The Wonderful World of Jazz.” That recording featured Herb Pomeroy on trumpet (and includes a fiery solo by Eric Dolphy). Pomeroy, whose birthday falls at the end of the week (April 15), was a legendary bandleader and jazz educator at the Berklee College of Music, training and inspiring several generations of performers, arrangers and bandleaders like Toshiko Akiyoshi and Gary Burton. I met Herb at MIT, where he founded and led the MIT Festival Jazz Band from 1963 to 1985, traveling across the Charles River once a week to work with a bunch of engineers and scientists in training. I had the honor of playing in that band during my last year at MIT, 1983-84.

I tried to take more of an arranger’s approach to this tune in my short version.

Tunes On Tuesday Reel

Check it out

Full piano track

Published by Oren Levine

Jazz pianist and composer from Washington, DC. Also a digital product and technology consultant currently working with nonprofit cllients

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