New York narcotics detective Popeye Doyle follows the trail of the French connection smuggling ring to France where he teams up with the gendarmes to hunt down the ringleader.
Don Ellis was a hot item in 1971. He had done a few big band albums that sounded like Doc Severson plugged into Frank Zappa'a sound system, and was opening a lot of rock shows, back in the era when you could get rock and roll kids to listen to and appreciate jazz. So, Billy Friedkin makes French Connection, and gets Don to score it. Billy must have known he had a hit on his hands, and wanted a big name to put on the composer credit. Ellis does an entire, half hour score for the movie. Not a lot of this music made it into the film: evidently, Billy wanted to have a gritty film with lots of street noises, and, tastefully edited Don's score to bare bones. It works in the movie, but a lot of really good music never saw the light of day.
William Friedkin's gritty police drama portrays two tough New York City cops trying to intercept a huge heroin shipment coming from France.
William Friedkin's gritty police drama portrays two tough New York City cops trying to intercept a huge heroin shipment coming from France. An interesting contrast is established between 'Popeye' Doyle, a short-tempered alcoholic bigot who is nevertheless a hard-working and dedicated police officer, and his nemesis Alain Charnier, a suave and urbane gentleman who is nevertheless a criminal and one of the largest drug suppliers of pure heroin to North America. During the surveillance and eventual bust, Friedkin provides one of the most gripping and memorable car chase sequences ever filmed.
…the concept of this disc, the choice of music and the performances make this an interesting contribution to the growing Vivaldi discography.
The love affair between Europe and the blues began in the early 50s with the arrival of Big Bill Broonzy who performed in Limoges, France, where most of the musicians on this album come from and where it was recorded. Zora first performed in Europe in 1981 and has made more than 20 tours in France. Inspired by Zora & Bobby Dirninger's recording of Two Trains Running on her previous Delmark album (Tore Up From the Floor Up), producer Chris Dussuchaud suggested a half-electric / half-acoustic album. The French Connection is Zora's renditions of not only Chicago blues, but also gospel, jazz, deep Mississippi blues and country music in her own, very special way.