André Condouant (1935-2014)


Earlier this month, the music world mourned jazz musician, who died on October 8, 2014, at the age of 79. Born September 6, 1935, in Guadeloupe, the guitarist, composer and arranger started playing at a very young age before joining George Benson and Gérard Lavigny, among others. In “Une corde qui casse… André Condouant, 1935-2014,” Christophe Jenny writes: “André’s death resounds strongly today and represents a turning point that leaves jazz lovers ​​in Guadeloupe feeling a bit orphaned.” See excerpts here and read the original article (in French) in the link below:

Naturally, he had become, for many years, the patriarch of jazz musicians from Guadeloupe. Not so much because he belonged to a previous generation, but rather for his experience and history, as well as his relative discretion. André Condouant was an active patriarch and close to home. Having returned to Guadeloupe for several years, he recorded his last two albums there, and assiduously frequented jamming places, such as New P’ti Paris and Ja’Ri Beach, enthusiastically mixing his guitar rhythms with spontaneous arrangements that emerged during these meetings. And to all the musicians who then had the joy of sharing a few moments of music with him, there was always the excitement of rubbing elbows with a slice of musical history and Caribbean pride.

It would be of little interest to catalog here all the names in jazz—of greater or lesser fame—with whom he collaborated over the years, from George Benson and Leo Wright to Didier Lockwood and Ray Barretto, for example. Let’s remember, though, that he had a rich variety of influences and brought his talent as much from the “straight” jazz of Broadway standards as from the biguine and gwoka—in his collaborations with Kafé for example, sometimes even pushing towards the edge of funk. When he grasped his guitar on stage, it was enough to hear three notes to understand immediately the greatness and talent of this musician. With Alain Jean-Marie—who must feel a little lonely now—he shared a long common history, starting from the Caribbean and passing through Canada before going to Paris; they are found side by side on several records (some that are difficult to find today). They are among the last Caribbean jazz musicians to have contributed to the heyday of bebop and to participate fully in its history. [. . .]

He is one of those models that prove that music requires work and perseverance—reminding us that talent and excellence are not obtained by simply snapping one’s fingers—and now continues to inspire the many musicians with whom he worked.

For full obituary article, see

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