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Live In Japan by Christian Jacob Trio

Pianist, Christian Jacob has produced a wonderful CD. A mix of interesting songs, featuring excellent musicianship and displaying an exciting, energetic vibe that I attribute to the synergy of the band, as well as an enthusiastic live audience. Live In Japan includes a few standards, a nice take on the blues "At Last", some Japanese folk songs, very fitting as to the location of the performance and a few original compositions. Christian Jacob is joined by his band mates, Trey Henry (bass) and Ray Brinker (drums), all are long time members of the Tierney Sutton band. They are a very tight unit, sonic perfection is achieved. The album is a delight that enchants, excites and motivates. One of the best CD's of the year, one of the best modern jazz piano trios of our time.

Christian Jacob is a pianist with a grand sound; he approaches melody with a beautifully lyrical style. He sings through the piano, he plays passionately and with immense joy. He is not all about flash, although he is a fantastic technician as indicated in moderation on every tune and with serious intensity on "Summer", one of the Japanese folk songs. A song like no other folk song I've heard.

There are a group of Japanese folk songs named after the four seasons; the trio pushes each song into record setting, severe weather on each of the seasons. There is some incredible playing from bassist Trey Henry, a free style bassist who has no limits, one of the most creative bass players around with a feel for time that is like no other. "Spring" is a fine example, a ballad that flows smoothly, an upbeat moderate tempo with bass playing that is magical.

"Winter" has a Latin feel to it, a fast tempo driven by outstanding drumming from Ray Brinker. With a clave feel to his rhythm Brinker mixes in swing, straight eights, elements of space through pauses of silence and a solo of speed, dynamics, tastefulness and extreme precision.

"Autumn" is plainly beautiful, a lovely introduction by Christian Jacob, a lullaby, a nursery rhyme, a gorgeous melody. A melancholy tune played brightly. The piano sound is full and round, the bassist Trey Henry fills in with a resonating tone and drummer Ray Brinker playing with brushes paints the finishing touches as delicate strokes of pure magnificence. A tribute to Aki Matsuri, the fall festival of Japan.

The original compositions "Little Eyes", and "State Of Mind" are all in a ballad style with Christian Jacob playing enchanting melodies. The songs are at slower tempos and the music is passionate. The trio has a great feel for these songs; the soundscape is one of peace and tranquility. Just what's needed during these troubling times.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Christian Jacob Trio
  • CD Title: Live In Japan
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Independent
  • Tracks: Too Close For Comfort, It Never Entered My Mind, Little Eyes, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, State Of Mind, All Or Nothing At All, At Last
  • Musicians: Christian Jacob (piano), Ray Brinker (drums), Trey Henry (bass)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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