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Ruud Jacobs


03-05-1938 - 18-07-2019


basgitaar, contrabas, jazz, producer


Portret op Jazzhelden.nl

Ruud Jacobs

Very early on in his life Ruud Jacobs becomes active in jazz. Together with his older brother, the pianist Pim, and various drummers he forms the Pim Jacobs Trio, which is successful in the AVRO Jazz Competition and makes its recording debut in 1956 for the LP Jazz Behind The ...
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basgitaar, contrabas, producer

Mentioned in the biography of

1942   Han Bennink
1954   Pim Jacobs
1954   Rita Reys
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Biography Ruud Jacobs

Very early on in his life Ruud Jacobs becomes active in jazz. Together with his older brother, the pianist Pim, and various drummers he forms the Pim Jacobs Trio, which is successful in the AVRO Jazz Competition and makes its recording debut in 1956 for the LP Jazz Behind The Dikes 3. In the later line-up, featuring guitarist Wim Overgaauw, the trio is singer Rita Reys's regular backing group. Ruud Jacobs also performs with various American greats like Johnny Griffin and Sonny Rollins. From the seventies he mainly focuses on his work as a record producer for the CBS label. He becomes very successful at this, and his bass playing takes a backseat. Later he also produces violinist/conductor André Rieu's successful albums.

Played in

Pim Jacobs   contrabas

1938 - 1953

Ruud Jacobs is born on 3 May in Hilversum. His mother is a ballet teacher, owning her own home studio. Jacobs Senior is a lawyer, and an amateur pianist. Ruud Jacobs and his brother Pim, his senior by four years, become jazz fans by listening to the radio. Ruud Jacobs starts out playing the tenor saxophone, but eventually switches to double bass. The two brothers befriend the drummers Fred Burkhardt and Han Bennink. Together they regularly practice in mother Jacobs' ballet studio.

1954 - 1955

With Fred Burkhardt as the drummer the brothers form the Pim Jacobs Trio. On 30 March the Pim Jacobs Trio wins the preliminary round of the AVRO Jazz Competition in Heemstede. The finals are held in Hilversum on 30 April. The Trio is the runner-up in the 'modern style' category.


Drummer Wessel Ilcken replaces Fred Burkhardt. On 29 October the Pim Jacobs Trio records two tracks for the third Jazz Behind The Dikes LP, produced by Michiel de Ruyter. On 8 November they record an album with the American flutist and saxophonist Herbie Mann, as The Wessel Ilcken Combo. Trumpeter Ado Broodboom is also featured on a few tracks.


On 13 March the Jacobs brothers and Wessel Ilcken record with the American tenor saxophonist an oboist Bob Cooper, during a concert at De Waakzaamheid in Koog aan de Zaan. His Master's Voice releases the recordings on two EPs. On 25, 26 and 27 March they are in the studio in Hilversum for the album The Cool Voice Of Rita Reys No. 2. The Wessel Ilcken Trio is the base of the ensemble featuring woodwinds and strings. Half the arrangements are made by Tom Dissevelt, and the other half by Jan Corduwener. These are the first recordings Ruud and Pim Jacobs make with singer Rita Reys.

1958 - 1960

Jacobs is the bassist with the International Youth Band which performs at the renowned Newport Jazz Festival. He lives in New York for a month. The International Youth Band also records an LP. The Pim Jacobs Trio with Rita Reys is the overall winner of the European jazz competition at the Juan-les-Pins jazz festival in the south of France. In September Pim Jacobs and Rita Reys get married (her first husband, Wessel Ilcken, having died in 1957). The Trio, featuring guitarist Wim Overgaauw instead of a drummer, becomes Rita Reys's highly successful backing band for a great many years. The new album, Marriage In Modern Jazz, sells extremely well.


On 12 October the Trio and Rita Reys record the LP Jazz Pictures At An Exhibition at the Laren Singer Concertzaal. Special guest is the great American drummer Kenny Clarke. In November Ruud Jacobs marries Thea van der Kaay. One day after the wedding he leaves for a tour of India, at the invitation of the Dutch consul general. His fellow musicians are flutist Ruud Kuyper, drummer Ruud Pronk, saxophonist Herman Schoonderwalt and pianist Hein van der Gaag.


In March Pim and Ruud Jacobs accompany the American tenorist Johnny Griffin during his first Dutch tour. Their old friend Han Bennink is the drummer.


In the documentary Jazz And Poetry by director Louis van Gasteren Ruud Jacobs can be seen as the bassist with pianist Piet Kuiters's Modern Jazzgroup. The film is shot at the Amsterdam jazzclub Sheherazade.


Ruud and Pim Jacobs perform on television with guitarist Wes Montgomery. Han Bennink is again featured as the drummer. The performance has a jam session-like feel. Years later the footage is released on DVD in the American series Jazz Icons. Pianist Les McCann invites Ruud Jacobs to join his band in the States. He declines the invitation, however, and decides to stay in the Netherlands.

1967 - 1969

On 3 May Ruud Jacobs performs with Sonny Rollins and Han Bennink in Arnhem.

1970 - 1972

Ruud Jacobs starts working as a record producer with the CBS company. Together with John J. Vis he focuses on music that sells well in the seventies. He works regularly with arranger and band leader Rogier van Otterloo, whom he teams up with artists like Rita Reys, Wim Overgaauw, pianist Louis van Dijk, pianist/singer Jules de Corte, and the singers Frits Lambrechts and Gerard Cox. Albums by the flutists Chris Hinze and Thijs van Leer Ruud Jacobs produces are also highly successful. Because of all these activities his bass playing takes a backseat for a while, although he remains active in his brother Pim's Trio, and as accompanist to Rita Reys. He is also featured on Wim Overgaauw's highly successful album Don't Disturb.


Ruud Jacobs produces Rogier van Otterloo's score for the film Turks Fruit by director Paul Verhoeven. The soundtrack album is a great seller.


He scores a huge hit with his production of Gerard Cox's't Is Weer Voorbij, Die Mooie Zomer.


Ruud Jacobs starts living with singer Liselore Gerritsen. He also produces a number of albums for her.


Ruud Jacobs switches from CBS to Phonogram.


The Pim Jacobs Trio starts performing regularly again, this time with Peter Ypma on drums. They release the LP Come Fly With Me in collaboration with the airline KLM. Years later the album is discovered in Japan and is reissued. Ruud Jacobs produces the album How Many Times by Lori Spee.


Ruud Jacobs produces a number 1 hit record with flutist Berdien Stenberg's Rondo Russo.


Ruud Jacobs produces the first album by violinist/conductor André Rieu: Geen House Maar Strauss. In the following years he produces a number of successful Rieu CDs. He also becomes singer Laura Fygi's producer, and plays the bass on her CDs.


His brother Pim Jacobs dies at the age of 61 of cancer, after a long illness. Because of this Ruud Jacobs loses his interest in playing the bass for a long time.


Ruud Jacobs decides to pick up his bass again, and rejoins Rita Reys. Pianist Pim Jacobs's successors in the band are Lex Jasper at first, and later Peter Beets.


During the celebratory concert for saxophonist Piet Noordijk's 75th birthday, on 25 May 2007 at the Amsterdam Bimhuis, Ruud Jacobs takes part in a reunion of the famous Misha Mengelberg quartet, featuring Noordijk and Han Bennink. This groundbreaking group had a great reputation in the early sixties, and Ruud Jacobs was one of the bassists to go through their ranks. The performance was later released on the CD Piet Noordijk Jubilee.

2008 - 2011

Ruud Jacobs celebrates his 70th birthday at the Amsterdam Bimhuis. Many old and new friends and acquaintances perform with him. The event also receives a great deal of media attention. Under the name Ruud Jacobs' Superjam he regularly performs with varying line-ups at the Loosdrecht bar and restaurant De Otter. Here he performs with both old and young Dutch jazz greats.

Discography Ruud Jacobs

In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.

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