Did you ever have a chance of meeting the people you were listening to?
Yes, several... my most important meetings were with Luther Allison, and Patrick Saussois. I met Luther only
once, but Patrick, being a family friend, I met at least once or twice a week when I lived in Paris. Sometimes
even more often.
Did he teach you?
Mostly I learned from him, as well as from other really good
musicians, just through talking to him and hanging out with
him. I don't know, it's like osmosis or something. You just
watch these guys interact, and talk to people, and you
watch them play... if the person is real, all of this will be
one... it is a unity. I learned very much from Patrick;
especially that music is about life and about people. He had
no problem chatting for two hours with complete strangers
after his gigs. And being himself and real in the
conversation. He is a very special man. It was a big shock to
me when he had the stroke, and I think about him every
If you could go back in time, which musician would you like to meet and talk to?
There are too many (laughs)... I would spend my whole life just traveling back and forth! I'll give you an
answer which you probably would not expect: I'd love to meet and hear some of the hassidic masters who also
composed and sang music [editor's note: hassidism is a form of Jewish mysticism]. I love the simplicity and
sincerity in their music. It's something very beautiful, and something that I strive for. I think I would also have
liked to meet Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Gene Vincent... as I said, too many to name. What attracts me
though, bottom line, is openness and sincerity. Musicians who don't have masks, who give completely... there
is a show that is fake, and there is a show that is real... it can still be entertaining, and it should be, but it also
needs to be real and human. That's the type of musician who I'd like to meet, whether from the past or now.
How did you meet Luther Allison?
Luther was one of my earliest inspirations when it came
to lead-guitar. I must have been fourteen or just fifteen
years old. He played a gig in my hometown, and my
father took me backstage to meet him after the concert.
He was an extremely friendly person... his whole band
was very nice. He gave me a lot of encouragement. One
of the things I remember vividly is when he shook my
hand – he had these huge hands – and he looked at my
white hand in his black hand and said to me “Black and
white – this is what Rock'n'Roll is all about!” That was a
very special moment in my life.
Was Jean-Yves Dubanton well known at the time
you met him?
Jean-Yves is a friend of my grandfather, as is
Patrick Saussois. I know Jean-Yves forever. He and
his friends showed me my first Jazz chords and
rhythms... He started playing with Patrick when I
was still a teenager, and made himself a name
through that gig. He went on to play with many of
the main Gypsy Jazz players, like Bireli Lagrene for
example. Jean-Yves was always very kind to me...
we jammed a lot together, he was always very very
Patrick Saussois, Jean-Yves Dubanton,Nachman's grandfather Roger
All Content © 2012 Nachman Fahrner