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The Francis Paudras Collection on Bud Powell

The Francis Paudras collection on Bud Powell contains over twenty hours of footage related to Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell (1924-1966), a prominent American composer, pianist, and a seminal figure in the progression of modern jazz, also known as bebop. In the early 1960s, Powell lived in a Paris apartment with his caretaker and unofficial manager Francis Paudras (1935-1997). While living with Powell, Paudras filmed his musical idol with a home movie camera. The Francis Paudras collection on Bud Powell includes home movie footage of Powell on vacation, at the apartment, and with friends. Of note in the collection is footage of Powell meeting Thelonious Monk at the airport in Paris, Powell’s 1963 benefit concert at the Salle Wagram in France, and Powell’s 1966 funeral procession in New York. The collection also includes interviews with musicians who performed with Powell including Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Clarke, Max Roach, Jimmy Gourley, and Pierre Michelot, among others.

The description of the films in this collection were created by Vincent Pelote, Senior Archivist at the Institute of Jazz Studies; Lewis Porter, jazz pianist, composer, and former Professor of Music at Rutgers University; and Peter Pullman, author of Wail: The Life of Bud Powell (Brooklyn: Bop Changes, 2012). Additional contributors to the project include Diane Biunno, Principal Investigator for the Preserving the Jazz Legacy of Bud Powell: The Francis Paudras Film Collection at the Institute of Jazz Studies project; Julia Durand, French language translator; and Erica Gold, NYU Moving Image Archiving and Preservation intern.

This was supported by a Recordings at Risk grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.