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Dance Of The Infidels: A Portrait Of Bud Powell (Anglais) Broché – 1 mars 1998

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Dance of the Infidels What Charlie Parker was to the saxophone, Bud Powell (1924-1966) was to the piano. But genius has its price, and Powell spent much of his life in electroshock therapy in psychiatric institutions. "Dance of the Infidels" tells Powell's compelling story. 191 photos. Full description

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In the early hours of a chill wintry morning, on January 21, 1945, the smoke-filled bar on the outskirts of Philadelphia was slowly closing up for the night. Lire la première page
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23 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Portrait of a Man 9 août 2002
Par phillyfan329 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Obviously any serious Bud fan will have to read this, being one of only a handful of books devoted to the genius. That being said I ended getting much more out of the read besides examining a period in a musician's life. Even if this book were not about one of my favorite musicians I still would recommend it highly and would call it one of the more interesting reads I have had. (I read it about 6 months ago.)
This book also becomes, inadvertently I believe, a study into human personality. Bud had numerous mental problems, many of which were pigeonholed as manic-depressive or schizophrenic. But the author's fly on the wall psychology savant observations (many obviously from journal entries) show that these diagnoses are simple and barely scratch the surface of the behavior of Bud Powell.
I think about this book often particularly when I am considering what makes a person a person. Before I read this book I thought I had an idea, but after reading it I am not so sure. It also led me to read more direct analyses of personality by Lucan and Piaget.
Bud begins the book in horrible shape, mental & physical, completely reliant on someone who cares nothing for his well being. He is unkempt and rarely speaks. You wonder how he could have reached the age he has with so few of the skills which are required for human survival.
When the author begins to interact with Bud it is almost always wordless, with the author describing Bud's input with non-verbal actions. How "looking into his eyes I could tell how Bud felt."
I was very skeptical believing perhaps the author's worship of Bud were clouding his judgment about Bud. Maybe the author wanted to communicate with Bud so bad he was sub-consciencely creating Bud's side of the conversation.
This hero worship by the author made certain that there was a bias to anything in the book, but a careful reader can still infer what actually took place.(It is nowhere near as revisionist as Miles Davis' autobiography.) And after reading the book I honestly believe that Mr. Paudras would never intentionally lie about anything to do with Bud Powell
As the action of the book proceeds you realize there must be something happening to Bud because of the healthy changes occurring and the gains Bud makes. Bud begins to perform again, gets healthier, and begins to take more control of his life. But major barriers still remain. Often he will only communicate with Francis. It went as far as when someone would ask Bud a question he would ignore it until Francis repeated the question to Bud and then Bud would only answer Francis. Also, Bud was greatly affected by even the smallest portion of alcohol, which would haunt him for the remainder of his life.
By the end of the book I was engrossed. There is even a heart-wrenching climax that was more affecting than most novels I have read. The denouement is too powerful to describe. (I am choosing my words carefully as not to give away anything)
There is a measurable action by Bud which makes me doubt the assessments that he was merely a child with a prodigal gift allowing him to never mature. Apparently, Bud would write poems to go along with most of his songs. Most have been lost. The poem by Bud included in the book is so lucent and shows a startling awareness that I was left contemplating why Bud behaved the way he did. Francis spent so much time with him it could not have been and act. Also, Bud hurt himself by acting this way that you have to believe he would have stopped if he could.
This book has helped make Bud's amazing art even more poignant for me. I believe every person has trouble relating to the world around him or her. To me, Bud music is about expressing these difficulties. Somehow trying to reconcile the sublime beauty of the world with the horrible darkness it also contains.
Although, my belief in heaven is dubious at best, if I could pick two people who deserve to be there it is Bud Powell & Francis Paudras.
My final comments are about the fate of the author who recently committed suicide. After getting to know a side of him through his book. (And I do believe the seeds of his demise are hinted at in the reading particularly in the last scenes.) It also opens up a whole slew of questions about when is life worth living, and is there any reward for those who love and bring goodness to the world when all they seem to receive is senseless pain.
As you can tell I have thought about this book considerably so if you have any insights you'd like to share please drop me a line at derek_weisel@hotmail.com. Thanks. DW.
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Shining Example of the Generosity of the Human Spirit 21 janvier 2002
Par Bruce Boldner - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
For some time I had been tempted to buy this book, but had always been put off by the review on this page by the Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review, which describes it as a florid remembrance containing much passion (and by inference little substance).
Then recently I was told that an acquaintance had read the book and stated that it was one of the most moving stories he had ever read.
So on this recommendation I bought it and having just completed the book, I can now reiterate unequivocally that it truly is a remarkable tale of the generosity and strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
Herbie Hancock stated that Francis Paudras was a hero. I would add that he was a saint.
Francis was first drawn to Bud because of the latters musical genius, but then he also sensed the deep humanity and sensitivity of Powell. When he saw Bud's heartache as a result of being abused and at the mercy of people such as his (purported) wife Buttercup, he took him into his own home as a member of his own family. Paudras was a young and struggling graphic artist, living in a cramped apartment with a new (and fortunately equally kind and understanding) wife.
For years they fed, clothed and kept a roof over Bud's head, fought his battles with the police and Buttercup for him, nursed him through ill health, paid his medical bills and asked for nothing in return other than the deep satisfaction of knowing that they were bringing a measure of happiness, stability and love to a man whose deep humanity and musical genius made them love him unreservedly.
When Francis finally brought Bud back to the USA for a triumphant return gig, it was nice to see those people who held their hands out in genuine friendship and support. It was infinitely sad to read of those who showed indifference and sometimes even violence towards Francis as he continued to try and protect Bud from succumbing to the dark forces which had brought the latter to his mental breakdown originally.
As desparately sad as I feel for Bud after reading the book, I feel equally sad for Francis Paudras, who met with more personal tragedy of his own at the end of Bud's life.
Francis Paudras was clearly the sort of man who was extremely sensitive, especially to the plight of another. He gave his love and his life unconditionally to Bud Powell, asking (and receiving nothing material) in return. In a world where we are constantly confronted with man's indifference and hostility towards his fellow man, this is a story to remind you that there are people in this world who are decent, moral and have a deep capacity for unconditional kindness towards their fellow human beings.
After Bud Powell died, Francis Paudras lived for another 31 years before taking his own life. I pray that he found some happiness and loving companionship himself in those long years, especially in the face of the blind indifference, misunderstanding and even hostility such as that shown in the Los Angeles Times Review.
So please do yourself a favour and buy this remarkable book.
Even though it will make you sad, it is also uplifting. It deserves to be read as a paen to two remarkable human beings.
And say a prayer for Bud, for Francis, for Francis' wife Nicole and for Francis' little son Gilles.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
an extraordinary friendship 13 septembre 2005
Par Ian K. Hughes - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
"Dance of the Infidels" is an account of jazz pianist Bud Powell ( 1924-66 ) written by his friend and onetime caretaker Francis Paudras. There are a number of reasons why it makes fascinating reading ( virtually mandatory for hardcore jazz fans ); prospective readers should, however, be aware the book focuses more on Powell's personality than it spends time detailing his groundbreaking role as bebop pioneer. Then again, given the notorious and shadowy caricature with which Powell *the legend* has been saddled ( helping to perpetuate his stigmatization, even posthumously ), the focus on Powell *the person* can only be counted a blessing. Above all, this reviewer was struck by their extraordinary friendship, all the more impressive considering the trying circumstances in which they often found themselves.

Paudras makes no attempt to render events in a self-consciously hip tone nor does he attempt to analyze Powell's music in theoretical terms. If occasionally he waxes effusive, he is far from slavishly uncritical or wedded to one particular party line concerning Powell's problems. For instance, while it is well known that the pianist suffered from a brutal beating he received ( from a policeman ) in 1945, which led to physical and mental breakdowns, Paudras also relates the strained relationship Powell had with an emotionally distant father, his marital/relationship strife, the barbaric treatment at the hands of doctors and various medical "professionals" ( administering shock treatments and dangerous drugs ) and from the very beginning of his career, the whole unsavory underworld ( gangsters, club owners and mercenary agents ) atmosphere in which he plied his trade. Trials and tribulations of this nature challenged the hardiest of men; for Bud Powell, unusually sensitive, they turned out to be nothing less than catastrophic. Powell, apart from playing music ( or getting drunk ), seemed to live most fully in the retreat of his mind, a remote and often haunted place. It was therefore no small measure of mercy that Paudras entered his life, first as a fan and later as friend ( "brother", as Powell himself referred to him towards the end ), allowing the older man to reveal himself ( in tones of poignant solemnity or raucous humor ) as he had to few others.

Another virtue: the author, no neophyte, is a diehard jazz fan who knows the music and its history quite well. His inside perspective, after years of living with Powell ( 1959-64), gives evidence of a certain smiling ( but never smug ) awareness of various myths and peculiarities propagated in the jazz subculture. From a purely musical point of view, he is quite convincing in defending Bud Powell from the received wisdom many critics regurgitate to this day; lionizing his output from 1947-53 while denigrating his later work. While the recordings from 47-53 do indeed remain the gold standard, listeners should, in evaluating his later output, rely on the only evidence that really counts, *recordings*; and in using them as criteria, Powell is often found in great form ( e.g., "Live at Lausanne", "Bouncin' with Bud', etc ). Furthermore, in asking for "consistency", critics overlook the fact that Powell, as much as any musician in jazz history, took risks. In the circumstances he found himself, Powell's digital equipment may have been less than reliable but the integrity of his expression ( ultimately what matters most in music ) never dimmed. Indeed, *no* musician played with more intensity than Bud Powell.

In the future, writers will focus more extensively on Bud Powell's music; fittingly so, for such a pioneering musician. But as far as Bud Powell *the person* is concerned, it is unlikely we will ever find an account more sympathetic or revealing than that rendered by his ( now deceased ) "brother", Francis Paudras.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Francis Paudras-The Amazing Best Friend of the Amazing Bud Powell 4 novembre 2005
Par Jaywilton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The relationship between jazz piano genius Bud Powell and maybe

anybody's best friend-of all time-is really only marginally portrayed in the 1986 Oscar-nominated movie,'Round Midnight'-one of my handful of all-time favorites.The film was dedicated to

Lester Young and Bud Powell-and the great saxophonist Dexter Gordon portrayed the burnt out musician Dale Turner.The film is

based on 'Dance of the Infidels' by Francis Paudras about his incredible relationship with Powell-one of the handful of defining jazz pianists,ever-and even among jazz musicians,nobody

ever had a more troubled life;Powell died at 42 in 1966 and there is no question that he'd have died sooner if not for Paudras's efforts.At 62,Paudras committed suicide in France in 1997.It's not easy to find a sadder book-and in terms of race relations-nobody tops Francis Paudras.R.I.P.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Para quem ama o Jazz... 26 septembre 1998
Par Pedro Trindade (pedrotrindade@mail.telepac.pt) - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Precioso, comovente, generoso, revoltante... este é um livro para quem ama sinceramente o Jazz. Sem preciosismos críticos ou rigores bio-discográficos, Francis Paudras deixa-nos um apaixonante e definitivo retrato da trágica vida de Bud Powell, talvez o mais genial pianista que o Jazz conheceu...
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