Enthused by his passion for both jazz and drawing, the Christophe Lier's drawings, sketches and comments reveal a highly original interpretation of the personality of a number of musicians. From Louis Armstrong to Lester Young, including Duke Ellington, Billy Holliday and Charlie Parker, Christophe Lier has sketched more than forty portraits of the “Kings of Jazz”.
“It’s the subtle shifts between the individuality and the spirituality of these legendary figures, as well as the fusion of the body with the instrument that I wanted to reconstruct by putting pencil to paper, thus rendering the image both sacred and enduring. “Jazz Kings” is my homage to the talent and genius of these artists, my wise men. Jazz musicians are my constant companions. When I became aware of their impact on my creative energy, I was compelled to forge parallel, and often improvised, links with them, which I wished to share with others through not only my drawings but also my words".
About the Artist: Jazz and drawing have always been the two passions and means of expression for Christophe Lier. After studying engineering, he decided to dedicate himself to jazz piano, having already studied with the great masters for several years. He soon ended up in Asia (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Beijing), where he spent more than twenty years. During this time he was at the center of a number of musical projects, composing and playing in clubs and festivals. He taught both Jazz Orchestration and Arrangements at the Beijing Contemporary Institute. The work that he presented at the Marciac Jazz Festival was very successful amongst jazz lovers. Since his childhood he has seized every opportunity to sketch scenes from his surrounding environment, trying to capture the present moment. Over time, he has built up a large collection of drawings revealing some of the emotions and unique situations he has experienced, some of which have already been exhibited in Paris, London, Shanghai, Tokyo and New York.
About the Writer: Asia based freelance writer and guitarist Robin Lynam writes for a range of publications on the arts – especially jazz - travel, and food and drink. Feeling that the text of the original French version of this book was essentially untranslatable, Christophe Lier asked Robin to produce new verbal sketches to partner the drawings. This he has tried to do, responding to the images, and using a combination of his own words and those of the musicians, their peers and contemporaries.