Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Strictly Confidential


This CD contains private recordings Francis Paudras made in Powell's apartment in Paris during the years 1963-1964.

Francis Paudras loved to play the piano, took lessons and after the Second World War he studied music. At the age of 15 he heard a Bud Powell recording, All God Chillun Got Rhythm by the Bud Powell Trio and later he told ( in his book Dance of the Infidels ) about the impact this recording had. Bud Powell became his idol.

Although he loved to play the piano Francis became a designer and not a professional piano player. He learned from articles in magazines a lot about Powell's life, about how he struggled with his physical health. In 1956 Powell came to Paris for a concert and for the first time Francis heard his idol playing, seated on the back row of Salle Pleyel. Later he was able to find a seat near the piano and he stood near the keyboard at all concerts he was able to visit.

At one concert in the night club Le Chat Qui Peche, Bud recognized his faithful fan and asked him to buy him a beer. This scene repeated each night and Francis learned that Bud didn't got any money from his producer, Mrs. Buttercup. Later Francis invited Bud in his house and he and his wife decided that Bud could stay for some time to work on a come back.

Everybody who has seen the great jazz film Round Midnight with Dexter Gordon as the main actor, will recognize this script. Although Dexter Gordon plays a saxophonist Dale Turner, an old and lonely alcoholic jazz musicians in Paris, everybody knows that the story of Dale Turner is infact the life story of Bud Powell.

In the film Francis Paudras makes sound films of Dale Turner, while performing at stage. Around 1963 Paudras made recordings on his reel-to-reel tape recorder at Bud Powell's apartement. These recordings have been released on the Black Lion CD BUD POWELL - STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL ( Black Lion BLCD760196 )

To be honest - these recordings are a great document; it shows Bud playing the piano only for his friend, deep sensitive interpretations of his own ( and Monk's) compositions. I think it is remarkable that Bud's style of playing looks so similiar with Monk's at the end of his life. He even plays Francis favorite All God Chillun Got Rhythm.

In my opinion these strictly confidential recordings express an unique relationship between Powell and Paudras, during the hours both man were together. This document, although not his final one, is very valuable to understand Powell's life and music.

Sources: Dance of the Infidels by Francis Paudras
Idool Aan Huis by Coen de Jonge ( Jazz Nu nr. 231 - Oct. 1998 )

BUD POWELL - Strictly Confidential
Private Recordings by Francis Paudras, Paris ca 1963-1964
1. Cherokee
2. My Devotion
3. Idaho
4. Ruby My Dear
5. Conception
6. All God's Chillun Got Rhythm
7. Strictly Confidential
8. Deep Night
9. Thou Swell
10. It Could Happen To You
11. Wahoo

The film Round Midnight has been subject of one of my blogs.
Hans Koert


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