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Banbury Cross

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Post details: French Funk at Kalorama

French Funk at Kalorama

French don't live their lives. They smoke them. Slowly and prepensely. French were the first nation that mapped out the complete genome of wine and cheese, and in doing so they nosed out that life is a fine cigar and it should be treated as such. Coddling it in a hand carved humidor. Savoring every waft of its subtle aroma.

Kalorama Park is a little leafy oasis in the middle of Adams Morgan, Washington's premiere clubbing district. Today it belonged to a French Funk group "Tarace Boulba", which threw a late matinee in its grassy center. Camped under a stately tree, the improvised ensemble featured one bare-footed young lady in a plain red dress, and about twenty undershaved vagabonds, some in stereotypical berets, whose casual elegance must have been copied straight from the illustrations to Francois Villon's ballads. Yet there was nothing balladic about their music. Note by note, stalk by stalk, the band turned the green turf into a giant dancing parquet. The brass extravaganza was sharp, perky and severely contagious. An open bar for musical viruses.

But they brought with them more than just their music. Hidden underneath the nonchalantly coiffured sound was a conspiring smile of enjoyment. They brought their love of life - and myriad of its attendant hues, some smooth like melted chocolate, some robust like hearty tartiflette, each of them eventually finding its way out of the inner tubular maze of trumpets and trombones. Once issued into the open space by the unrelenting chimneys of the brass instruments, they turned into intoxicating wisps of smoke from Graycliff Chateau Grand Cru cigars. And if you narrowed your eyes just a little bit, you could have recognized a row of glistening question marks where the battery of saxophones used to be. They had all been punctuating the same question: Parlez vous danse?



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