Christian Reim (b.1945) is a Norwegian pianist, organist and composer who for almost 50 years have put his mark on the music scene in Norway. In the early sixties, Reim started playing keys in the jazz group The Modern Jazz Sounds, in his hometown Porsgrunn, performing at local venues and at the Norwegian Amateur Jazz Championship in 63' at Sentrum Kino. Reim then traveled to Copenhagen in 64', where he amongst other things played bass for Dexter Gordon and piano for Don Cherry, before he returned and settled in Oslo in 65'. Here Reim became a member of the jazz outfit Ditlef Eckhoff Quintet, but in the years after the disaster called The Beatles, Reim started moving into R'n'B and psychedelic music. His main inspiration among Norwegian musicians was Arild Wikstrøm. Reim became a member of the R'n'B bands Blue Secrets (65'-66') and Public Enemies (66'-67'), before forming the psychedelica band Dream in 67' together with Terje Rypdal, Hans Marius Stormoen and Tom Karlsen.
With experience both from jazz and progressive pop music, Reim had developed a skill to write songs that communicated both to the jazz and pop audience, with complicated, yet catchy themes, always colored by a genuine understanding of the rhythmic element in music. When Reim emerged as bandleader for his first sextet in 1969, he rounded up some of Norway’s youngest and hippest jazz musicians; Terje Venaas on bass, Ditlef Eckhoff on trumpet, Ole Jacob Hansen on drums, Knut Riisnæs on tenor saxophone, and long time collaborator Carl Magnus Neumann on alto saxophone. Parallel to running the sextet, Reim had a band called Bash who released a rare 7” on the NorDisc label in 1971. Here Reim plays the guitar, piano and sings and this is probably the only time you’ll hear a hardanger fiddle featured in a jazz line up, here handled by Lillebjørn Nilsen.
In 1979 Reim was commissioned to write the score to the movie Nedtur by Hans Lindgren, a movie about a jazz musician trials and tribulations. Reim wrote new music and booked Rosenborg Studio for a session. When the drummer Ole Jacob Hansen called in sick right before the recording, Jon Christensen was asked if he could step in. Together with Carl Magnus Neumann and Terje Venaas this line up became known as Filmkvartetten. While the movie Nedtur was an artistic and commercial failure, Reims score went on to become one of the best-known treasures of Norwegian film and jazz music. The master tapes went “missing” for over 29 years before they were discovered in an archive, winter 2007.
In the early eighties, Reim focused on running his own jazz club, Hot House and then running the club Jazz Alive in the later part of the eighties. Today Reim is still an active composer and musician with his own trio.