••• After my litterature 'baccalaureat' (12th grade diploma), I felt like studying politics (Sciences-Po/ENA), and decided upon spending 2 to 3 years at the Law University in Paris X, Nanterre. Not that I was dreaming of being a jurist, but because I was not offered much exciting studies other than those, and I could be 'good' at it.

••• And I managed to succeed in my studies, almost effortlessly. But obviously, the passionate soul of mines could not be satisfied with just being 'good' at something, while the spells of music were turning more compelling month after month.

••• I left the college bands for less 'amateur' bands, mostly originated from the French Antilles, invited by some who probably took notice of my playing from the days of working with Tony Leveillé, back in hi-school times. Those bands were (to my ears) made of fabulous musicians.

••• Among them, and for the sake of expressing my rewards to those who 'coached' me in my learning days, I shall cite the people of "Antilles Music Diffusion" where I was to join an afro-funk-jazz combo named "Voodoo Family". Plus

••• The band eventually got dismantled, then reformed as "Centers", probably one of the funkiest sets I've ever worked with. Plus

••• Things turned into something closer to jazz when some of us joined another band based in Saint-Cloud, Paris 'chic' suburb. Plus

••• One day I got a call from a fellow citizen of Benin who apparently saw me jamming in a Cotonou club as I was vacationing. I was offered any keyboard I wanted in exchange of occasional gigs with his 'Tchango' band in Paris and suburb. I took on that opportunity to get my first synthesizer: a Korg 800-DV. Plus

••• But most of these experiences were still very 'amateur' (endless jams and undisciplined rehearsals, no recording at all) compared to the energetic Earth Wind & Fire driven "Fireball" band I've joined around 1976. Plus

••• Those were the days I really discovered the recording studio and started to carve a distinct philosophy around it. Plus

••• As I increasingly had trouble to run my Law studies and my performing life both at the same time, my father helped me solved the dilemma by drawing a clear picture of the consequences of my own decisions: either I would stay home and concentrate on my studies, or I would leave to seek a career in music on my own. As I could support myself between the gigs and the increasing number of recording sessions, I chose the latter, something I would call now a 'foolish' decision.

••• So I was out to face the daily realities of finding shelter and paying the bills, helped by friends among which Sher Komisar, an american singer who I eventually recorded a single with, in a duo named "Wally & Shane". Plus

••• Soon after the release of that single, April 1977, I was called upon my military duties, which I took as an opportunity to pause and see through my life from a distance. Plus

••• When I got out of the army, April 1978, my mind was set, or at least I thought it was: I would put Music back to where it should have always remained: just a hobby. And I would resume my Law studies. Which I did. For 3 to 4 months.

••• Because when I walked into a recording studio again, for what was supposed to be just a 'one-off' session, the resolution that took a whole year to forge was reversed in seconds, never to be re-reversed again.

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Sun, Jan 3, 2010

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