Another death: Claude Nougaro has left us (there’s a note about it at his official site). I don’t think that Nougaro is very famous outside France. I discovered him via a 45 EP that a penpal of my girlfriend’s mother had sent her in the 1960s. I was struck by it immediately. Nougaro’s style was expressive and extravagant, and married with jazzy backings from Michel Legrand, with whom he was working at the time, the effect was rather striking. In particular, the track ‘Le cinema’ (the instrumental version of which was sampled by Dimitri from Paris) stood out. I subsequently picked up the LP (a Canadian pressing that I found at the WFMU fair in NYC), as well as another, Petit Taureau, on CD. Claude continued to sing and tour well into the 1990s and beyond.

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