In 2005, All About Jazz wrote, “A Danish musician deserving of international success”. The occasion was Jacob Christoffersen’s previous trio album FACING THE SUN, and the review calls the music “melodic jazz, presented with vitality and playfulness. Simple and beautiful while never becoming saccharine. Rather than mainstream, this music is the blood of jazz”.
Jacob Christoffersen has always been a musician’s musician – or a pianist’s pianist – modestly preferring the background to the spotlight. However, he was already a teenage prodigy in the 1980’s as part of Gadevang Swingsters, which also included violinist Kristian Jørgensen. In the 1990’s he began collaborating with vocalist Majbritte Ulrikkeholm, and was often heard as a sideman with a large number of top Danish jazz artists, including Karsten Vogel, Jesper Thilo, Jørgen Svare, Claus Waidtløv, Lars Møller, Anders Bergcrantz, Jens Winther, Chris Minh Doky and Christian Dahl. Jacob Christoffersen is one of Denmark’s finest accompanists. He has backed many Danish vocalists, among others Cæcilie Norby, Hanne Boel, Sanne Salomonsen, Sinne Eeg and Kaya Brüel. He has been a member of the legendary Danish pop band Shu-Bi-Dua for ten years.
Once, drummer Adam Nussbaum was asked why he had so much work. He answered, “It’s because I make people sound good.” The description fits Jacob Christoffersen equally well. At a time when many musicians devote their talents exclusively to their own personal expression, his ability to fit into diverse contexts has made him a popular sideman.
Now – after six years – here is a fresh opportunity to hear Christoffersen on his own turf. As usual with his preferred rhythm section: bassist Jesper Bodilsen and drummer Jonas Johansen. The accolades from All About Jazz for the trio’s first album, go for their new release, JC3, as well: The powerful, exuberant playing, the good compositions, the fine musicianship. On the album cover, the title is spelled out with another Danish success story – Lego blocks. The name Lego was taken from the Latin verb for play, which is befitting for the joy involved in making this music. This time round the music is funkier, though never losing sight of the fine melodies and always keeping the bright story in focus. All the tunes are originals by Jacob Christoffersen with the exception of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice”.