I’m a huge admirer of François Rauber. He’s one of the most prolific arrangers in the classic chanson française, working with Jacques Brel from the 3rd album until the end, and collaborating with just about any French singer in the 1960s and ’70s. His arrangements are incredibly diverse, touching on just about any style, always with great taste, great sensibility to the lyrics, and great craftsmanship. Below is a very interesting interview from 1983 with Rauber, when times were changing and synthesizers and multitrack recording had taken over.
The great jazz double bassist Hugo Rasmussen from Denmark has passed away… He’s been active since the 60’s making great records in a multitude of styles, but like most people of my generation (born in Denmark in the 70’s) I know him best from the many children’s records and TV shows he performed on in the 70’s and 80’s. I think the subliminal influence on Danish kids from his playing, as well as the other great musicians working on those projects, is something to acknowledge. He definately put a groove to the soundtrack of my childhood way before I even had an idea about what that means.
Bad news today. The best live music show on French radio has been cancelled. “Le Pont des Artistes” has been a solid platform for showcasing live music every Saturday evening for more than 25 years. The journalistic standard was immensely high, which is honestly a very rare thing in media today. Many artists have found an audience through this show, and it was one of the rare places where you could find a genuine curiosity towards unsigned or unestablished acts.
To make things worse, this cancellation happens at a moment in time when the creator and host of the show, Isabelle Dhordain, is on leave for cancer treatment. I’ve played the show often, and I’ve also had the chance to play many other radio and TV shows in France over the past 10 years. Sometimes with completely unknown artists, and sometimes with very famous ones. “Le Pont” was one of the rare places where you could be sure to be welcomed the same, whether you came there with a star or with a debutant. The same level of preparation, interest and respect applied to everyone.
I hope Isabelle will get well soon, and that she will host a new show in a near future. We need her to once again raise the average a little.