My father known as Jacques Butler
2009. Video with sound, 30 min.
Carrières-sous-Poissy, Paris. January 31, 2009. Jean Jacques Butler at his houseboat on the Seine, talking about his father, the american jazz musician, Jacques Butler (1909-2003).
Jacques Butler residenced in Norway in 1939 and 1940, and was soon to become a central figure in the Norwegian jazz scene. He was the first Afro-American artist to make a recording together with Norwegian musicians in Norway. This isolated information, was the starting point for Lange's investigation into a nearly 100 year long life and carrier, that was found missing in the music literature. Nevertheless, Butler was a well known musician in his earlier days. He played alongside famous musicians like Louis Armstrong, Mercer Ellington, Fletcher and Horace Henderson, Lionel Hampton and Cab Calloway among others. Butlers only son, generously shares lively memories of his father, and highlights a life constantly on the move, crossing borders and continents – to make a living and play music, wherever possible.
Included in the film is an audio clip from an interview with Jacques Butler, made by Stanley Crouch, January 28, 1979 for The Smithsonian Institution. In a short passage, Butler tells about his encounter with Norway, shorty before the German occupation.