Christian Jacob first gained widespread exposure as co-leader, arranger and pianist with the Tierney Sutton Band. While recording eight critically acclaimed CDs with the band Christian also built a substantial career as a solo artist and leader. He has arranged and conducted around the world, performing with big bands, symphonies and even with the King of Thailand.
Born in Lorraine, France, Christian Jacob began playing classical music at age 4 and became immersed in the music of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, whose harmonic universe was influential on jazz. I was 9 or 10 when I discovered jazz, Christian reminisces, and the very first thing that appealed to me was the harmony, the chords”. “The first time I heard Oscar Peterson, I kept going to the store to order the part, of course I never received it; later, when I learned it was improvised, I couldn't believe it”.
I've always had perfect pitch, so I was known for hearing anything and knowing the notes. However, my training was not open to improvisation. It was learn the piece, and then interpret it, he says. Even at that age they would basically interpret it for you. In retrospect that probably taught me what is the basic musical feel.
Though studying classical music, the young pianist continued to play jazz as a hobby; he worked in combos in Lorraine, and began to develop a style. Dave Brubeck was my first discovery, he has said, then Oscar Peterson was a different dimension. I could hear his classical technique; his personality was there too. What he says, he means, and you can hear him having so much fun doing it.