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 single day.
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 encouraging.

Patrick Saussois, Jean-Yves Dubanton,Nachman's grandfather Roger
Luther Allison
All Content © 2012 Nachman Fahrner