“...Shortly after, Henri Debs asked me to sign at his company. I asked for PERCY HEATH (b) and CONNIE KAY (dr), who were in Paris at that time. In 1970 we recorded my first album 'Brother Meeting', along with EDDY LOUISS on piano. Just after recording this album I returned to Guadeloupe and remained there for almost three months. There, I met MARIUS CULTIER, with whom I went on a Canada-Tour in 1972, meeting FREDDIE HUBBARD. In Montreal I remained one year before going back to Guadeloupe for four years. I worked in hotels, conducted the orchestra of the Hilton Hotel in Martinique for one year. I played with American musicians who were on tour at the Club Mediterranean. I met my second wife, she worked at a hospital, we got a child (David). She wanted to return to Paris to continue her studies and get her diplomas to have a better situation. She asked me if I wanted to go to Paris with her. She insisted on staying for four years, but I didn´t intend to remain."

1978, back in Paris again, he played concerts at the 'Olympia' with RHODA SCOTT, singer LARRY O´NEILL and with VICTOR JONES (dr) and at the "Club Saint Germain" with organist LOU BENNETT and BILLY BROOKS (dr); a live-recording has been released by Vogue in 1980, entitled: 'Live At Club Saint-Germain - Lou Bennett'. In 1979 André recorded his second album 'Happy Funk' with RICHARD RAUX, MICHEL GRAILLIER, MARC SYLVAIN, TONY RABESON and JEAN-PIERRE COCO in Guadeloupe.

"During my stay in the Antilles, I have seen quite a lot of musicians who Bernard Pollack made come from New York. This 'return to the sources', isolating myself from the Jazz scene, enabled me to go on with finding other forms of playing and to develop my technique. My album 'Happy Funk' on the label Debs, could situate the sense of this research very well. The producer Henri Debs is an old friend. Every year, he goes to New York for one month and there he had heard the music that has become popular, the Funk. He asked me to write some songs in this style for a record. I didn't really have the desire to do so, because I wondered how the reaction of the audience would be. Many think that, if you are a jazzman, you must not play other music and that you must hold to the style how it´s like. I have accepted, but I would like to record an album of standards now."

Between 1979 and 1984 he performed with his own band, THE ANDRÉ CONDOUANT QUARTET, featuring: ALAIN JEAN-MARIE (p), GEORGES BROWN (dr) and ALBY CULLAZ (b). They played several concerts in Parisian clubs like 'Dreher' and 'Petit Opportun' and a concert with TONY SCOTT at the 'New Morning' etc.

For the recording of his third album 'André Condouant Quartet' in 1981, half of the line-up differed from the last concerts: PATRICE CARATINI and OLIVER JOHNSON replaced GEORGE BROWN and ALBY CULLAZ on bass and drums. In 1982 André went back to the Antilles, where he played several concerts and held seminaires and courses... In 1984 he played concerts in clubs in Paris and through France: 'Phil One', 'Petit Opportun', 'Caveau de la Montagne', 'Sunset' and 'Péniche Atmosphère' etc. He made friends with the owner of the latter club, who started managing him and later became his third wife.

André performed at the International Guitar Festival in Martinique in 1985 and was honored with a special composition award by SACEM & CMAC. The following year he played concerts in the West Indies with different Caribbean musicians as well as with RAY BARETTO and DIDIER LOCKWOOD. He also appeared at the Inter Caraibe Jazz Festival in Guadeloupe in 1986. During the same year André recorded an album, entitled 'Banana Zouk' for the Debs label.

In 1987 he performed at the International Jazz Festival in Martinique. The André Condouant Quartet played at the 'New Morning' in Paris in 1988, featuring: JACKY TERRASSON (p), HEIN VAN DE GEYN (b) and ANDRÉ CECCARELLI (dr); in 1989 André played at the Festival de Guadeloupe (Festag), and recorded his fifth album 'Thanks For All', which is inspired by Caribbean sounds, with BIBI LOUISON (p), FRÉDERIC CARACAS (el-b) and JOSÉ VULBEAU (el-p) in Paris.

In 1989 he and his third wife moved to Guadeloupe. André started working as a music teacher at a private music school in Grande Terre. But that didn´t mean total retreat from musical activities: in 1990 he performed at the Festival de Jazz - RFO Guadeloupe with AL LIRVAT and in 1991 at the Festag (Festival de Guadeloupe) with FREDDIE HUBBARD and STANLEY TURRENTINE. Between 1992 and 1994 he played concerts at the 'Petit Opportun' in Paris and at 'La Cave on First' in New York City. In 1992 André´s third child, Jonathan, was born.

The album 'Clean & Class' came out in 1997, a combination of standards and own compositions, recorded with pianist ALAIN JEAN-MARIE. In 1998 both performed together in Guadeloupe and at the International Guitar Festival in Martinique.

In November 2000 André played at the Jazz Festival of Baie-Mahault/Guadeloupe and was the 'godfather' of the Festival. In 2002 he recorded an album for a local church: 'Gospel Swing' contains traditionals, inspired by Caribbean sounds like Reggae or Bossa Nova - he was accompanied by Canadian saxophonist JOCELYN MÉNARD on two tracks.

Jam-sessions with a good old acquaintance took place in 2002 and February 2003: André met Dutch drummer PEER WYBORIS, where they played together at the Palladium in Bilbao/Spain with JON PIRIS (b) and JOSÉ LUIS CANAL (p). In June he had a guest-performance with the Hal Galper Trio: HAL GALPER (p), STEVE GILLMORE (b), BILL GOODWYN (dr), the next month he jammed with ALFRED MÉMEL and GÉRARD POMER, both in Guadeloupe. In December 2003 André joined young and talented trumpeter FRANCK NICOLAS and his Jazz Ka Philosophy concept, playing at the Jazz Festival Guadeloupe (both have already played a concert together in April the same year).

In April 2004 André performed two gigs in Guadeloupe, the first one together with saxophonist JOCELYN MÉNARD at the 'Midway Piano Bar', the second one with CHRISTIAN AMOUR (p), RAYMOND D´HUY (b) and SONNY TROUPÉ (dr) in St. François. He also has started writing his memoirs.
André's CD Coolin' & Relaxin' was released in December 2005 on the Debs label, it´s a mixture of traditional music from Guadeloupe and his own compositions. André, who also sings on this album, is accompanied by DOMINIQUE BÉROSE (p), JEAN-PIERRE GIRONDIN (b), TONY LODIN (dr) and, as a guest, PIPO GERTRUDE (voc).

The CD 'The Mad Man' was issued in 2009, also on the Debs label, recorded with PAUL LAY (p), ALEX DUQUE (b), JEAN-LUC GILLES (dr, perc) and again with TONY LODIN.
In January 2012 André Condouant was back in Europe and reunited with pianist Alain Jean-Marie for a concert at 'Kréol Jazz' at the Théatre de Neuilly outside of Paris. Both also recorded an album together, which unfortunately was never released. interview with Alain Jean-Marie and André Condouant

Later that same year, André held guitar master classes in France. Back in Guadeloupe, he kept on playing concerts with various musicians during the following years. He composed and recorded demos, preparing a new album, that he intended to record with american musicians, because of their authentic, classical Jazz vibe. But the project came to a stop when his long-time heart problems turned serious all of a sudden in late 2014. After a breakdown and a short stay at the hospital in Pointe-à-Pitre, André Condouant passed away October 8.

He will be dearly missed and loved forever !

Asked about his musical influences and favorite guitarists, there´s a long list of people he considers being exceptional: Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, Grant Green, John Abercrombie, John Mc Laughlin, Joe Pass, but he especially points out Montgomery - and of course George Benson.

“Montgomery, for me, is the musician par excellence. I cannot explain why, the words would not be sufficient. When I listened to him for the first time, in 1957, I wondered:”What´s that?” He played 'Yesterdays' and I didn't understand anything about his solo, his sonority was mat, suppressed, and that astonished me a lot. At this time, I especially played the bass, I began to work playing on the guitar but I listened to a lot of blowers: Parker and also Don Byas, Lester Young... I discovered Wes, he influenced me deeply; I also love Burrell, for his phrasing, his sonority... I respect Joe Pass, he´s a mountain of technique and ideas. All guitarists have their personality and are interesting. Tal Farlow, Maurice Meunier made me discover him, infatuated me to the point that I experienced all his solos by heart. And Barney Kessel? That´s the first Jazz guitarist I heard in the Antilles... I forgot a 'monster': George Benson!"    >> for guitarists' links see the favorites page

"I like to listen to Free Jazz. I have played a concert with ALAN SHORTER - I must say that I have been a little disconcerted. Alan hasn´t given the score to me, only he and JOSEPH JARMAN had it. When they began to play, I have been obliged to find out what to play on my own. I tried to follow them and played like it didn´t matter what I did on my instrument and that worked: there were spectators who came telling me that they liked what I played !

In fact, this music interests me as long as I feel that it works without the point of view of communication, there is something in this music which is true. The chaos can be fascinating, but I don't want to play that way because it doesn't suit my personality. On the other hand, I like ARCHIE SHEPP very much. While being with ALBERT AYLER, we met in Stockholm and became real buddies. At this time, he had no money and almost began to question his music. I hardly liked what he made, he had a particular way to play 'Small Flowers' or 'How High The Moon', he wanted to make his instrument vibrate and that people understand it, listening to that today, I must admit that he had a reason. Carmell Jones and Leo Wright played the free from time to time, in another way, for fun... For me, it´s a bit like that: with the free, I could not take myself seriously, however I am very serious with music."

For me, the Antillean music is the Biguine, that´s a music coming from the Gros-ka, which shows us the African inheritance. It is abandoned by the young, and, I believe, that comes from the invasion of the Haitian music in Guadeloupe. But a lot of young Antillean musicians return to folklore in search of their identity.

I have a dream to achieve: that´s to record an album of Biguine my way. As far as I'm concerned, there´s no market for this music in France. But I want to fight, to manage to make something similar, even if that does not return me much money. The music that I want to make will be cheerful, swinging, giving back happiness to the people, to make them stomp their feet, to clap their hands. I love music that has a certain rhythmic cohesion."

Several TV- and Radio-Shows (TF1, A2, FR3, France Inter, France Musique, TV broadcast on FR3 in Lucien Mason's 'Magazine du Jazz' etc.) as well as foreign broadcasts.

In 1985 André Condouant received the special composition award by SACEM (Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique) and CMAC (Centre Martiniquais d' Action Culturelle).

In 2001 André was awarded with the Prix Sacem "Hommage à André Condouant" and on March 14, 2002 he was honored with the special price of the jury for his lifetime-achievements and contribution to the development of West-Indian music. The award was given by the SACEM at the Centre des Arts in Pointe-à-Pitre / Guadeloupe (Albert Lirvat and Roger Béligny were awarded too).

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