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Dance of the Infidels A Portrait Of Bud Powell
open our order pageFrancis Paudras
Da Capo Press, 1998
Paperback. 360pp. b&w illustrations

Dance Of The InfidelsWhat Charlie Parker was to the saxophone, Bud Powell (1924-1966) was to the piano: no bebop 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, perhaps most painful of all, the indifference of his contemporaries to his talent.

Yet his musical intuition, helpless innocence, and humour 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 unfavourable 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.

FRANCIS PAUDRAS's books include a biography of Charlie Parker and a book of jazz photographs.

"Francis Paudras is a hero who has dedicated his life to preserving the history of the great cultural figures of jazz through film, video, and radio performances; without his efforts many of the profound contributions of these artists would be lost. This book is a wonderful living document of his personal relationship with the genius Bud Powell, whose work will continue to shape jazz's legacy for generations to come." - HERBIE HANCOCK

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The Glass Enclosure by Alan Groves and Alyn Shipton
Giant Steps by Kenny Mathieson includes a chapter on Bud Powell
The Masters of Bebop by Ira Gitler

books about other jazz pianists:

Oscar Peterson by Gene Lees
Bill Evans by Peter Pettinger
Raise Up Off Me Hanpton Hawes's autobiography
Thelonious Monk by Thomas Fitterling
Keith Jarrett by Ian Carr

Visit our timeline and lifeline sections to view a history of jazz and its leading players.


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