Jodie Christian

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Jodie Christian (February 2, 1932 February 13, 2012) [1] was an American jazz pianist, noted for bebop and free jazz.


Early life

Christian was born in Chicago, Illinois. [1] His "father was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, into a share-cropper's family. Realizing the futility of that life, Christian's grandfather sold his livestock and sent his family to Chicago, where Christian was born in 1932 on 44th Street and Prairie Avenue." [2] Christian's mother, a church pianist, helped him with music. [3] When she became director of the church choir, he took over on the piano; sometimes they played organ–piano duets in the church. [3] His father "also sang and played the blues on piano in speakeasies and rent parties, but ultimately stopped performing and followed his wife into the church". [4] Christian attended Wendell Phillips High in Chicago. [5]

Later life and career

Christian was one of the founders of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) with pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, drummer Steve McCall, and composer Phil Cohran. He and Abrams were also part of the Experimental Band. [1] Christian worked at the Jazz Showcase club in Chicago and performed with Eddie Harris, Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, Gene Ammons, Roscoe Mitchell, Buddy Montgomery, and John Klemmer. Christian led a group on albums. [1] [6] He died on February 13, 2012, aged 80, in Chicago. [1]


As leader

As sideman

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 - accessed February 14, 2012
  2. Lewis 2008, p. 4.
  3. 1 2 Lewis 2008, p. 10.
  4. Lewis 2008, pp. 10–11.
  5. Lewis 2008, p. 11.
  6. "Who's Who Chicago". Archived from the original on 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2008-05-31.


  • Lewis, George E. (2008). A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music. University of Chicago Press.