Hodeir was born in Paris. His initial training was as a classical violinist and composer. He studied at the Conservatoire de Paris, where he took Olivier Messiaen's analysis class, and won first prizes in fugue, harmony, and music history. While pursuing these studies, he discovered jazz, and embarked on an exploration of all music forms, jazz as well as classical. Initially, he recorded on violin under the pseudonym of Claude Laurence (see Tom Lord's "Jazz Discography"). Subsequently as a critic he expressed vigorous disgust with nearly all early jazz (Jazz: Its Evolution and Essence; 1957).
Hodeir was a founder, in 1954, and director of Jazz Groupe de Paris, made up of nine musicians, including Bobby Jaspar, Pierre Michelot and Nat Peck. In 1957, at the invitation of Ozzie Cadena of Savoy Records, he recorded an album of his own compositions with a group of American musicians which included, among others, Donald Byrd, Idrees Sulieman, Frank Rehak, Hal McKusick, Eddie Costa and George Duvivier and, on one track, the singer Annie Ross. He was the author of two books of Essais (1954 and 1956), of numerous film scores, including Le Palais Idéal by Ado Kyrou, the Jazz Cantata for the film Chutes de pierres, danger de mort by Michel Fano, and Brigitte Bardot's Une Parisienne. Hodeir was the founder of his own orchestra during the Sixties (Catalyse, Arte della commedia dell', Transplantation, Crepuscule with Nelly, etc., available in an album by Martial Solal, in 1984). He wrote several works based on James Joyce, including the 1966 jazz cantata Anna Livia Plurabelle, and the 1972 work Bitter Ending, featuring The Swingle Singers and a jazz quintet, on the final monologue of Finnegans Wake.
- 1954: The Vogue Sessions (BMG, R/1999)
- 1956: Le Jazz Groupe de Paris joue André Hodeir (coll. Jazz in Paris, Universal, R/2001)
- 1957: The Alphabet et autres essais (not available on CD)
- 1957: "American Jazzmen play Andre Hodeir"(LP album, Savoy MG 12104)
- 1959: Kenny Clarke's Sextet joue André Hodeir (coll. Jazz in Paris, Universal, R/2002)
- 1960: Jazz et jazz (coll. Jazz in Paris, Universal, R/2004)
- 1966: Anna Livia Plurabelle (second version Patrice Caratini in 1994, Label Bleu)
- 1972: Bitter Ending (not available on CD)
- 1984: Martial Solal et son orchestre jouent André Hodeir (Carlyne Music, 1984)
- André Hodeir, Le Jazz, cet inconnu, preface by Charles Delaunay, collection "Harmoniques", Éditions France-Empire, 1945
- Si seulement la vie : nouvelles (2001)
- Les aventures de la chevalière, (1983 historical novel for children)
- La chevalière et le panache blanc, (1983 historical novel for children)
- Le Rire de Swann, ed. Rouge Profond, coll. Birdland, Paris 2006
- Le Joueur de violon (Musikant)
- La Musique depuis Debussy, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1961
- Hommes et problèmes du jazz, Flammarion, Paris, 1954, re-released by Parenthèses, coll. Epistrophy, Paris 1981, 3 printings, then coll. Eupalinos, 2008
- Les Formes de la Musique, Presses Universitaires de France, coll. "Que sais-je ?" n° 478, Paris
- Jazzistiques ed. Parenthèses, coll. Epistrophy, Paris 2004
- Les Mondes du Jazz , ed. Rouge Profond, Paris 2004
- The André Hodeir Jazz Reader, Michigan University Press, 2006
- Pierre Fargeton, Le Jazz comme œuvre composée : le cas d'André Hodeir (2006, unpublished doctoral dissertation, Université Jean-Monnet (Saint-Étienne))
- Christian Tarting, article Hodeir, André (Dictionnaire du jazz, ed. Robert Laffont, coll. Bouquins)
- Radio France obituary in archive
- Platt, Len, James Joyce: Texts and Contexts. Continuum (ISBN 978-1-4411-4869-8).
- "Music: Pop Records". Time. Time Inc. 6 January 1958. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- Francis Marmande (2011-11-08). "André Hodeir, musicien, compositeur, écrivain, théoricien du jazz". Le Monde. Retrieved 2014-11-24.