||A memoir of life with the great jazz pianist Bud Powell, who moved to Paris in the 1950s and lived a life marked by illness, alcoholism, and mental deterioration. Paudras both took care of Powell during his darkest years, and encouraged him to keep playing. This title formed the basis for Bertrand Tavernier's 1986 film "'Round Midnight".
||What Charlie Parker was to the saxophone, Bud Powell (1924-1966) was to the piano: no jazz pianist can rival his brilliance. But the tragedy of his life is equally matchless in the annals of jazz: he endured a brutal beating on the head by the police as a youth; electroshock therapy in psychiatric institutions; physical and mental abuse from people who fed him dangerous drugs to control him; malnutrition and tuberculosis; and, most painful of all, the indifference of his contemporaries to his talent. Yet his musical intuition, helpless innocence, and humor made him an endearing and sympathetic character - especially to Francis Paudras, a young jazz fan who met Powell in the late 1950s. Paudras's generosity was boundless: he released Powell from unfavorable surroundings, gave him a home and a new life, encouraged him to create some of his finest music, and cared for him as if he were his child rather than his idol. Dance of the Infidels is one of the most moving of jazz memoirs - and served as the basis for Bertrand Tavernier's film 'Round Midnight, starring Dexter Gordon. Here, for the first time in English, is a portrait of a friendship as surprising and heartbreaking as Bud Powell's timeless music.
||One of the giants of the bebop era, pianist Bud Powell began his career in the early 1940s, and went on to perform with artists like saxophonist Charlie Parker and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. Powell suffered from severe mental instability for most of his professional life, the apparent result of a beating by Philadelphia police in 1945. When French jazz enthusiast Francis Paudras first met Powell in Paris in the late 1950s, the pianist was in a bad way--on inappropriate medication and unable to look after himself. Paudras's story of how he befriended Powell, nursed him back to something approaching health, and took over the running of his career is the subject of his book, DANCE OF THE INFIDELS, the basis for the 1986 movie ROUND MIDNIGHT. Powell emerges as a supremely talented but tragic figure, under-appreciated in his own country yet lionized by Paudras and his jazz-worshipping friends, and there are many heartwarming moments of mutual affection between the musician and his rescuer before Powell's precipitous decline away from Paudras's nurturing influence. A story encompassing selfless love and musical tragedy, DANCE OF THE INFIDELS is an invaluable glimpse of the private Bud Powell behind the tortured genius.
|Editors Note 3
||What Charlie Parker was to the saxophone, Bud Powell (1924–1966) was to the piano: No jazz pianist can rival his brilliance. But his life was filled with tragedy, including years of electroshock therapy in psychiatric institutions, illnesses, physical and mental abuse from people who fed him dangerous drugs to control him, and the indifference of his contemporaries to his genius. Francis Paudras, a young jazz fan who met Powell in the late 1950s, released him from his unfavorable surroundings, encouraged him to create some of his finest music, and took care of him as if he were his child. Powell’s story, Dance of the Infidels, is one of the most moving of jazz memoirs—and served as the basis for Bertrand Tavernier’s film ’Round Midnight, starring Dexter Gordon. Here, for the first time in English, is a portrait of a friendship as surprising and heartbreaking as Bud Powell’s timeless music.