(English follows Japanese)
★My Favorite Album (375)
By Takaaki Kondo, Tokyo Jazz Review
Christian JacobはMaynard Ferguson Big Bandでピアノを弾いていた時代にアレンジを一手に引受けていた人です。Tierney Sutton(vo)のレギュラー・ピアニストでもあります。そのアレンジセンスはこのピアノトリオのアルバムでも遺憾なく発揮されており、センス溢れる素晴らしい演奏を聴かせてくれます。内容はオリジナルとスタンダード半々で、どの曲もアレンジが素晴らしい。決して奇抜でなく、でもオリジナルな響きがあります。2曲目の"IT'S YOU OR NO ONE"あたりの小粋なテイストはちょっと感動的です。疾走感とこれ以上にない美しさが溢れた傑作です。心から自信を持ってお薦めの一枚!です。
Tierney Sutton(vo on 3,11)
1. Just In Time
2. It's You Or No One
3. Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry
4. Never Never Land
5. Lydia's Crush
6. Piece One
7. Piece Two
8. Piece Three
10. As Long As There's Music
11. I Fall In Love Too Easily
12. Time After Time13 The Party's Over
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Christian Jacob Trio
Christian's taste and touch are impeccable.
Jule Styne would love this CD and so will you.
~Alan and Marilyn Bergman
I’ve heard and played with many pianists over many years, including some of the great ones, so that it would take one with exceptional talent to cause my ears to “stand up.” Christian has done just that with this CD. It is rewarding and quite fulfilling to hear someone of his talent, and the unique ability to extemporaneously bring things to life.
This is real jazz at its finest. You owe it to yourself to listen to this man.
"As a writer dealing mainly with larger ensembles, I don't hear many trios, but this one got my attention imediatly. Christian, Trey and Ray are masters: chops are in abundance, but only in the service of the music. The charts, whether by Christian or by the trio, are superb. (In "Tears", note the mournful harmonies behind "guess I'll hang my tears out...") . Tierney, with whom the group has been collaborating recently, tells her stories sweetly and convincingly. An additional good stroke is the too-seldom-heard music of Julie Styne."
"This is an important recording. And also a knockout to hear."
"Here is an example of a virtuoso who has found his band! Christian Jacob has always been magical but with this trio the interplay takes it to an even greater level. Ray Brinker has always been a favorite drummer of mine and Trey Henry has such a beautiful melodic concept. It’s almost like he’s a great jazz cello player.
You need to hear this CD!”
"Jacob, a lyrical player in the Bill Evans/Keith Jarrett stylistic mode with touches of Oscar Peterson flash, offers a nicely crafted rendering of nine Jule Styne standards, as well as a sensitive look at four of his own compositions. The trio’s readings of Jacob’s tunes, grouped near the middle of the disc, offer the album’s high points.
~ Will Smith of Down Beat"
Christian Jacob gained terrific exposure playing with the late Maynard Ferguson and during his extensive stint as vocalist Tierney Sutton's pianist. But he needs to be heard more frequently as a leader himself in order for his considerable abilities as a composer and arranger to be showcased in depth. Styne & Mine was somewhat overlooked by the jazz press when it was released in 2004, but there is much worth hearing in this collection of standards by Jule Styne and originals by Jacob. While almost all of the nine works by Styne should be familiar to seasoned jazz fans, the pianist's charts take each of them into new territory. Trey Henry's droning bass provides the backdrop for Jacob's lush introduction of "It's You or No One." Drummer Ray Brinker adds a funky backbeat to the leader's amusing setting of "Never, Never Land," though before long it transforms into an invigorating post-bop workout. Although Bob Merrill's lyrics to "People" are a bit drippy, fortunately, Jacob chooses an instrumental interpretation, bringing out the lyricism of its theme. Tierney Sutton adds her warm vocals to enjoyable treatments of the ballads "Guess I'll Hang My Tears out to Dry" and "I Fall in Love Too Easily." The centerpiece of the CD consists of four originals by the leader, highlighted by the bittersweet ballad "Lydia's Crush" and the lively "Piece Three." This outstanding privately issued CD is available directly from the artist at www.wilderjazz.com.
By Ken Dryden
At Ken Poston's all-star tribute to trumpeter Maynard Ferguson in Los Angeles last October, the pianist for most groups, large or small, was Maynard's son-in-law, Christian Jacob, who didn't land the gig because of family connections. When Tierney Sutton, who has worked with Jacob for nearly a dozen years and is the guest vocalist on "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry" and "I Fall in Love Too Easily," introduces Christian as "one of the greatest living jazz pianists," she isn't saying that just to be nice. A number of astute observers agree, including Bill Holman, Benny Golson and the man whose idea it was to have Jacob perform the music of the great Broadway/Hollywood composer Jule Styne, legendary English bandleader/impresario Vic Lewis. Even with their support and well-wishes, the album almost never happened, as no label expressed an interest in producing it. Enter Christian's wife, Wilder Jacob, who learned how to move it from drawing board to finished product practically by herself, hence the label WilderJazz. That, I surmise, is what is meant by the term "helpmate." The album's title, Styne & Mine, refers to the fact that nine of its thirteen numbers were co-written by Styne (with various lyricists), the others by Jacob. While Styne's melodies are more familiar, Jacob's have an insistent charm of their own and might respond well to the solicitude of an accomplished lyricist (even though he has prosaically named three of them "Piece 1," "Piece 2" and "Piece 3"). Jacob also wrote "Lydia's Crush" and left the rest in Styne's capable hands. Jacob is an excellent pianist whose formidable technique is tempered by his marvelous touch, cheerful temperament and impressive capacity to bring out the best in any song. While "one of the greatest" is clearly in the ear of the beholder, Jacob reminds me of such other renowned young pianists as Bill Charlap, Jan Lundgren, Eric Reed and Benny Green, and perhaps that is praise enough. One has to save some applause for Henry and Brinker, each of whom plays his part admirably. Henry is one of the most sought-after bassists in southern California, and it's easy to hear why. He's always at the top of his game. Like many drummers, Brinker has a natural tendency to roar, but softens his approach when necessary to help make this a trio in the best sense of the word.Not much need be said about Styne's songs, as connoisseurs of popular music will no doubt recognize them after only a few bars and may be able to recite the lyrics to most. Jacob and his partners handle them with care, Sutton adds warmth on two numbers, and when all is said and done, the album that almost wasn't is no less than a modest treasure.