Chris Jagger has written and recorded over 100 songs. His first records were made during the 1970’s for David Geffen of Asylum Records in Los Angeles. He revitalised his song writing in the late 1980’s when he worked in France as lyricist for Vanessa Paradis’s producer Franck Langolff. And he helped out brother Mick on the Rolling Stones albums Dirty Work (1986) and Steel Wheels (1989). His last album is Acoustic Roots, the music he generally plays at his gigs. The musical all-rounder did an European tour with his Acoustic Trio in 2015. He was only one day in Holland, so Jazzpodium Waterweg was very glad to have him.
The pure meaning of making music for Chris Jagger is the connection with the audience. “After all they take all the bother to come along so I like to see them dance or cry or whatever. It’s all about them as far as I see”, tells the singer and guitar player. With David Hatfield on bass and Elliet Mackrell on the fiddle, Chris plays soulful and tuneful music with mostly a smattering of country, hillibilly and ‘the Irish thrown in for good measure’. But, like the weather on an autumn day we could have expected everything on the 11th of October. Chris Jagger “It’s what suits the audience too. It depends whether people are listening or moving about and how good their English might be! I bend with the wind somewhat.”
Like the freedom
Chris Jagger is not in particular a jazzplayer, but loves this style. “I made one tune on an album I called ‘the ridge’ which is a swing time, rather dark tune and that featured bassist Danny Thompson who is a musician’s player over here in England, and old time pal and guitarist John Etheridge, who is pretty jazzy, as well as local sax star Andy Sheppard. I do really like the freedom inherent in the music.”
The magic of the Acoustic Trio is that the double bass and guitar make a solid platform for Elliet’s fiddle playing to roam free. “Plus we all sing together which is nice”, tells Chris. “Elliet also adds some digeridoo which wakes a few people up…”They made their cd ‘Acoustic Roots’ pretty much live. “With overdubs you consider what you are doing too much whereas you play live in the moment. In that way its much like jazz.”