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Alain Goraguer (born 20 August 1931 in Rosny-sous-Bois, Seine-Saint-Denis) is a French jazz pianist, sideman of Boris Vian and Serge Gainsbourg, arranger and composer. He reached his creative peak in the 1960s and 1970s. He also recorded and composed the soundtrack to the film Fantastic Planet.
His Breton family was living in Nice, on the coast of the Mediterranean, where young Alain studied the piano. He abandoned the violin without remorse, and at the age of twenty had an influential encounter with pianist Jack Diéval, passing through Nice, who firmly advised him to give up everything for the piano. At the same time, Alain studied harmony with Julien Falk, and soon won second place in an amateur jazz competition.
He soon went to Paris where he indulged his passion for jazz. At Saint-Germain-des-Prés, where he accompanied singer Simone Alma, he met Boris Vian. Together, they wrote Je Bois, La Java des bombes atomiques, Fais-moi mal Johnny et Ne vous mariez pas les filles. Alain then scored the music for the film J'irai cracher sur vos tombes (1959). He wrote the orchestration for young Serge Gainsbourg, indeed he arranged all of his albums up until Gainsbourg percussions (1964). With Gainsbourg, Goraguer scored more film music, such as that for L'Eau à la bouche (1960).
In the 1960s and '70s, he did the orchestration for Poupée de cire, poupée de son,performed by the teen singer France Gall, winning the grand prize for The Eurovision Song Contest in 1965. He wrote numerous arrangements for Jean Ferrat, France Gall, Juliette Gréco, Nana Mouskouri, Adamo and many others. Alain Goraguer then opened the door for a renewal in popularity of orchestral compositions. He also composed the title theme La Vache enragée (1965), sung by Brigitte Fontaine.
He also wrote a number of easy listening albums under the name Laura Fontaine.
Samples and influences
Producer Madlib has avowedly drawn inspiration from, and sampled, Goraguer's work on the first Quasimoto album. The song "Come on Feet" samples sounds of characters running and percussion form the film Fantastic Planet for the sound of his alter ego, Quasimoto, as he flees the scene of a crime.
"Le Bracelet" was also sampled by producer J Dilla for a beat named "Dammit I Know That Sample" from one of his beat tapes.
On the soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides, Air bare Goraguer's influence, especially the soundtrack to La Planète Sauvage.
The Rascalz sampled Goraguer's "Ten Et Tiwa" on Soul Obligation from their album Cash Crop.