What Charlie Parker was to the saxophone, Bud Powell (1924-1966) was to the pia: 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 unfavourable 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.
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.