Paris, 1959. The tenor sax player who has just been booked at the Blue Note was once known as one of the greats. He is staying in a hotel with other black American musicians who will keep him away from alcohol so he will show up to perform every night. A young Parisian who heard the musician perform in his prime listens in the rain on the sidewalk, since he can't afford to come inside. The Parisian earns a living by creating movie posters and since his wife walked out on him he hasn't been very creative. The musician notices him one night, the artist sells a poster and can afford to come inside the Blue Note. He doesn't like the way this jazz great is treated in the place where he lives so he borrows money from his estranged wife for "key money" to move into a larger apartment so he can bring the musician into his own home. "You treat me like a king," the musician tells the French artist. The musician stops drinking and starts composing and recording again. But will it last -- when he is back in New York in his old environment -- without his French friend?