Arranger/producer/musician André Fischer's credits include stints with R&B/rock/pop band Rufus & Chaka Khan, Curtis Mayfield, Jerry Butler, and Gene Chandler. Among the many gold and platinum albums he's been involved with is Tony Bennett's Perfectly Frank, which won a 1993 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal.
Born in 1951, Fischer's mother was a band singer, his father a trumpet player, and his uncle is renowned jazz composer/arranger/pianist Clare Fischer. As a child, he traveled with his father on tours, picking up the trumpet and drums. In 1970, Fischer moved to Chicago and began playing drums for Curtis Mayfield, Gene Chandler, Jerry Butler, and on jingles while staying in the basement of arranger/producer Richard Evans (Soulful Strings, Rockie Robbins, Natalie Cole, Peabo Bryson's Reaching for the Sky). He played with local band American Breed, who hit with "Bend Me Shape Me." The band became Ask Rufus and after adding singer Chaka Khan became Rufus, recording their first album for ABC Records in 1973. In a ten-year span, the band charted 15 pop singles (including two gold singles, the number three pop/R&B hit "Tell Me Something Good" written by Stevie Wonder and the number five pop/number one R&B hit "Sweet Thing"), five gold albums -- Rags to Rufus (number four pop, summer 1974), Rufusized (number seven pop, early 1975), Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan (number seven pop, late 1975), Street Player (number 14 pop, early 1978), Masterjam (number 14 pop, late 1979) -- and one platinum LP, Ask Rufus, number 12 pop, early 1977. Many of the group's early LPs (Rufusized, their best LP) were produced by Bob Monaco.
Like another Rufus alumni, David Wolinski, Fischer went into production. Some of his projects include his one-time wife Natalie Cole's Unforgettable album, tracks for albums by Michael Franks (One Bad Habit), Carl Anderson (Pieces of a Heart), Laura Nyro (Acoustic Christmas), Lalah Hathaway (Lalah Hathaway), Milt Jackson (Reverence and Compassion), Gladys Knight (Just for You), Vanessa Rubin (New Horizons), Brenda Russell (Brenda Russell, Get Here, Piano in the Dark), and Nancy Wilson (Love, Nancy). Fischer took a two-year hiatus from the music business and traveled to Paris. Returning in 1988, he maintains a busy arranging and producing career. ~ Ed Hogan, Rovi