22nd April 2022
Juliette Greco, actress and singer, suffered a traumatic childhood. Her mother withheld maternal love, claiming that Juliette was conceived without the mother’s consent. The mother, along with Juliette’s sister, were arrested by the Gestapo in World War II, and sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp. After liberation, the mother left Europe for Indochina, leaving Juliette in the care of her former French teacher.
In the immediate post-war years, Juliette frequented the bohemian areas of Paris, meeting such luminaries as Albert Camus & Jean-Paul Sartre, Jean Cocteau and Boris Vian, among others.
Paris hosted an International Jazz Festival in May 1949, and it was there that Juliette first saw American Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis.
Miles, coming from an affluent African-American family, began playing trumpet at the age of nine. In 1944 he was accepted at the prestigious Institute of Musical Arts (now called Juilliard) but dropped out in order to devote his time to playing, and he got a gig playing with Jazz legend Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker.
In 1949, as part of the Tadd Dameron Quintet, Miles travelled to Paris. He was spellbound by the freedom and respect he encountered, the lack of racial prejudice. Then he met Juliette Greco, and fell totally, head over heels in love.
My close friend and band mate Niall has written a song about this doomed affair, and it has just been uploaded to YouTube:
Our style of music could be defined as ‘Post-Rock’ meaning it deviates from a conventional song. Instead, Niall has written a short story which he narrates, and enlivens the track with Jazz music, sound effects and sound bites.
I hope you can find time to listen to the piece and, if so moved, ‘Like’ and ‘Subscribe’. This really helps new channels, so thank you in advance.
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