Dance of the Infidels: A Portrait of Bud Powell

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Da Capo Press, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 353 pages
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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.

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Contents

Willow Grove
1
Webb City
15
Strictly Confidential
28
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Francis Paudras's books include a biography of Charlie Parker and a book of jazz photographs. He took his own life in November 1997, in Antigny, France.

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