It was 1950 when Robert Jeanne discovered jazz in Liège and decided to learn to play the
saxophone, while listening to Jacques PELZER, Bobby JASPAR and René THOMAS,
during memorable jam-sessions in Liège.
1955: he participated in few concerts, Belgium and Germany, alongside
René THOMAS and Jacques PELZER.
1958: he formed the NEW JAZZ QUINTET with trumpet player Milou STRUVAY.
1960: he formed his own quartet with drummer Félix SIMTAINE, bassist Jean LERUSSE and pianist
This group lasted for a decade and often accompanied René THOMAS and other
stars passing through Belgium: Chet BAKER, Slide HAMPTON, Dizzy REECE, Dusko
GOJKOVICH, Bill COLEMAN.
Robert JEANNE played in many European festivals :
SPA, where he won first prize in 1958
BEEK EN DONK, first prize in 1967,
VIENNA, DUNKERQUE, COMBLAIN-LA-TOUR, BILZEN,
OSTEND, ZURICH, VIERSEN, DOETINCHEM, etc...
1967-1969: he tours in Belgium, France and Germany with his quartet (with Léo FLECHET, p; Jean LERUSSE, b; Félix SIMTAINE, drs) and guitarist René THOMAS, and occasionnally US saxophonist JR MONTEROSE. During that period, he records with that quintet a few tracks, one of which will be later included in a René THOMAS CD : "Guitar Genius".
1971: he is invited by Jack VAN POLL to play with his new quintet COSA
NOSTRA with which he participated in the festival of Prag.
1974: he is a member of the fusion group SOLIS LACUS, led by pianist Michel HERR and records with it his first LP.
1975: he is member of KARAS BOULBAND of pianist Frank WUYTS.
1976: he appears with the group of pianist Koen DE BRUYNE with whom he
records for the BRT (Belgian Radio and Television) "GAMES" composed by
Koen for a jazz quintet jazz and the symphony orchestra of the BRT.
1978: he is a member of ACT 12 Big Band of Félix SIMTAINE and gets hired with
Jacques PELZER in the orchestra of Centre Lyrique de Wallonie for the musical
1980: he participates in a series of concerts in Belgium, Germany and
Paris with the group SAXO MILLE, including five saxophonists, Henri
SOLBACH, Jacques PELZER, Steve HOUBEN and John RUOCCO and a rhythm section: Michel
HERR, Félix SIMTAINE, Jean-Louis RASSINFOSSE. The group was a tribute to Bobby JASPAR and René THOMAS.
1982: he forms his quartet again with which he records, in 1983, his first LP
as leader: Robert JEANNE QUARTET "SECOND LIFE" with pianist Léo FLECHET, bassist André KLENES and drummer
As of 1985, he appears about everywhere in quartet or quintet with various
musicians like Gino LATTUCA, Jacques PIROTTON, Steve HOUBEN, Phil ABRAHAM,
Jacques PELZER (a TV show recorded in 1985 at Festival de NAMUR and "Jazz
vivant" for RTBF in 1992), Michel HERR ("Jazz Vivant" in 1990),
Jon EARDLEY, Dave PIKE, and Pirly ZURSTRASSEN who played with the quartet
almost on a regular basis.
Since 1990, his quartet includes pianist Erik VERMEULEN, bassist Sal LA ROCCA and drummer Frédéric JACQUEMIN or Mimi
VERDERAME. A CD was recorded in 1992 (B SHARP).
They appeared at the Festivals of OUPEYE 1991-1993, Jazz à LIEGE 1992-l993.
He is also hired to organize JAM SESSIONS in which participated numerous
musicians, Belgian and foreign, with a special mention for an evening in Liège,
in 1992, during which 6 horn players of the Lionel HAMPTON band plus the
drummer of Sonny ROLLINS came to join in with the original band (François
MATHUS, Piet VERBIST, Robert JEANNE, Mimi VERDERAME).
1992: he participates in the recording of a CD, of which the benefit goes for
alleviating hunger in Somalia, with a band under the direction of Mimi VERDERAME (MALAIKA).
He also plays with the orchestra CHAPUIS STREET BIG BAND formed since 1991,
and composed of young musicians, most of them out of Liège and Verviers
conservatories. This group turned out to be one of the highlights of the Liège Jazz
Festival in 1992.
1996: member of the JAZZ ADDICTION BAND of drummer Mimi VERDERAME.
1998: Concerts in Senegal with Ivan PADUART, Mimi VERDERAME, Sal LA ROCCA.
1999: with the same group a tour in Nicaragua
Since 1998, he appears in duo, trio, quartet, quintet with musicians like Al DEFINO, Mimi VERDERAME or Joep VAN LEEUWEN (gt), Jean BORLEE (bass), Stefan KREMER or Mimi VERDERAME (drs), Jean-Pol STEFFENS (tp), Hile VANHOVE (voc.) or Jean-François MALJEAN (p).
Current bands :
Duos : with Joep VAN LEEUWEN (gt) or Jean-François MALJEAN (p)
Trio : with Joep VAN LEEUWEN (gt) and Jean BORLEE (bass)
Quintet : with Jean-Pol STEFFENS (tp), Joep VAN LEEUWEN (gt), Jean BORLEE (bass) and Stefan KREMER (drs)
- with Joep VAN LEEUWEN (gt), Jean BORLEE (bass) and Stefan KREMER (drs)
(See top of page for main discography)
|SOLIS LACUS|| IBC/EMI LP|
|Michel HERR Perspective/SOLIS LACUS|| B Sharp CD CDS 0084|
previously unreleased material of René THOMAS
|CD CDS RTBF|
Remembering Bobby JASPAR and René THOMAS
|LP B.D.N. MD 0060|
|Christine SCHALLER Real Life + Act 12 Big Band||LP|
|ACT BIG BAND||LP LDH 1002|
|MALAIKA||Philips CD 8646192|
A more extensive documentation about Robert JEANNE is available in works like:
HISTOIRE DU JAZZ à Liège by J.P. SCHROEDER
DICTIONNAIRE DU JAZZ à Bruxelles et en Wallonie (publisher P. MARDAGA)
DICTIONNAIRE DES BELGES de P. LEGRAIN (2 issues).