Pianist and composer, Thierry Maillard graduated from the Ecole Normale de musique in Paris. He studied in class piano, accordion, harmony and counterpoint.
Of classically trained, he will quickly discover the jazz and its freedom of expression at the end of his studies. Therefore, it will unveil a new musical genre influenced by his experiences, encounters, mingling harmoniously classical, jazz and world music.
Determined composer and orchestrator, he thus recorded 12 albums as a leader. We discover him for the first time in 1998 with her first album « Paris-New York » recorded in New York with Dennis Chambers on drums and John Patitucci on bass, under the Verve Emarcy label.
Passionate musician, he worked with great names of jazz such as Bireli Lagrène, Chris Minh Doky, Bobby Shew, Michel Portal, Bernard Lubat, Didier Lockwood, Dominique Di Piazza, Matthew Garrison …
His love for the strings and orchestration will lead him naturally to associate with the game of the jazz trio a string quartet, 3 times in the albums « New septet », « Vision » and « Notre Histoire ».
It is in 2014 that he embarked on the first phase of this project. He recorded the album « The Alchemist » with a Chamber Orchestra and musicians of world music. Critically acclaimed with this new album and strong of its success on stage, Thierry decides to lead the adventure at its peak.
In 2015 the signature under the label "naïve" puts the starting point to the finalization of the project. In January 2015, studio recording of the jazz trio and guests such as Nguyên Lê, Didier Malherbe, Minino Garay, then registration in the Czech Republic with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Jan Kucera.
Moments magical and timeless, ultimate outcome in the career of Thierry who thus realized his greatest dream of composer…
Thierry Maillard was 8 years old when he started playing music. At the age of 14, he enrolled in "Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris" (Normal School of Music of Paris), taking classes in harmony, counterpoint, piano, and accordion, and obtained his diploma when he was 17 years old. He then revealed a new musical style, touching on his experience and musical collaborations, a mix between classical composition and jazz.
In 1992 he met Débora Seffer, marking the formation of Débora Seffer Quartet, a band who toured around France and abroad between 1992 and 1997.
In 1998, Thierry Maillard recorded in New York his first album as a lead musician, entitled Paris New-York, with double bassist John Patitucci and drummer Dennis Chambers (Polygram – Emarcy label).
In 1999, with the support of Yamaha Musique France, he created a new project in septet. The album New Septet was released in 2000 by RDC Records.
In 2001, the release of the album Time's Color by RDC Records marked the creation of a new Quartet, including more jazz bop influences. In this new project, Nicolas Genest accompanies Thierry Maillard on the trumpet. This collaboration was noticed by the Arte television channel, who decided to promote this atypical pianist in a documentary. Director Patrick Savey filmed Thierry during the recording of this album, highlighting his strengths and creating a portrait of him as an artist. See the video
In 2002, Thierry Maillard set up a new septet, consisting of a trio and a string quartet. The band played at New Morning in Paris, where he recorded his fourth album Vision, which was released by RDC Records in January 2003.
In 2004, the album Entre deux mondes (Cristal Records) revealed an extraordinary collaboration with American drummer Robin Di Maggio and bassist Jean Marc Jafet. This album reflects a jazz style infused with groove and ethnic influences.
2005 marked the return of Débora Seffer to the stage with Thierry Maillard, where the duo once again demonstrated their musical talent. It was with the album Héliotropes, released by Cristal Records, that they toured France from 2005 to 2007. A compilation of these performances was released as a live record.
In 2008, Thierry Maillard recorded Notre Histoire, his third album in septet, with the trio and string quartet. The collaboration aimed to link the freedom of a jazz trio with the composition of a classical string quartet. "Notre Histoire" is the original soundtrack of an imaginary film, and has been critically acclaimed as Thierry's album of maturity. "Notre Histoire" was released by Cristal Records and distributed by Harmonia Mundi.
In 2010, Thierry formed the "4 Essential" Quartet with Débora Seffer, bassist Dominique Di Piazza and drummer Yoann Schmidt. The band toured festivals in France, including Toulon, Montpellier, Rhinojazz, Festival of Rive-de-Gier, and even opened for Herbie Hancock during Sète Festival. A recording session brought 4 Essential together during the summer of 2010, producing their eponymous album, which was released in January 2011 by Plus Loin Music/Harmonia Mundi.
2010 was also the year of Thierry Maillard Trio's formation with double bassist Jérôme Regard and drummer Laurent Robin. The two-disc album Behind the mirror was released on September 8th 2011 by Plus Loin Music. The album consists of a Trio CD as well as a Piano solo CD, recorded as a tribute to Miles Davis.
In February 2012, Thierry Maillard headed back to the studio with a new trio, comprised this time of Yoann Schmidt on drums and Matyas Szandai on double bass, to record a new opus called Beyond the Ocean. The album features prestigious guests on multiple tracks, including Didier Malherbe playing doudouk, Abdenour DjemaÏ playing oud and Débora Seffer playing violin.
This album was released end of 2012 (to Crystal Records / Harmonia Mundi). The Thierry Maillard Trio occurs then in France and abroad with Yoann Schmidt on drums, Matyas Szandai or Jérôme Regard on double bass and Thierry Maillard in piano. Thierry Maillard occurs also play solo.
In March, 2014, the album The Alchemist released by Crystal Records, (dist Harmonia Mundi). In addition to the Thierry Maillard Trio and some prestigious guests, it's a string orchestra that will share the stage in many national and international festivals, and particularly in Asia.
For 2015, Thierry Maillard prepares a new album named The Kingdom of Arwen and will present it worldwide with many symphony orchestras (Asia, USA, Russia, among others). The CD release is scheduled for October 2015 (Naive) and the creation of a concerto for cello and orchestra current 2016. The story continues…
JazzTimes (America's Jazz Magazine) – Travis Rogers about "The Alchemist" album :
Almost Too Beautiful to Bear... It is an album of beautiful agony. It is heart-rending. It is exquisite. Even the opening strings which are then joined by the trio is a ravishingly gorgeous introduction. I was not prepared for this. Even having heard it 15-20 times now, I am still not prepared but the only thing more painful than hearing this stunningly emotional album…is to never hear it at all.
France Musique – Alex Dutilh :
"In Ballad"….This is the way Thierry Maillard invites us to discover his music…With him, It is like finding the moon on the street corner. We just have to accept watching things that we did not use to watch anymore. Ebony and ivory, black and white keyboard reveals an authentic vision "in line" as say the graphic designers. This Ballad is also composed of Jérôme Regard and Laurent Robin. We think meeting a "triangle" but in fact everything is curved, in sinuosity, in rebound. Music is here, they play as a stream in a sunshiny meadow. Happiness of simple things and the pleasure to feel the soul of dancing melodies flow through this album.
Jazz Magazine – Pascal Rozat, about "Behind the mirror" album :
This is a double CD in the literal sense: two albums in one, each has a well-defined identity. Immediately attractive, Thierry Maillard's music reveals a beautiful harmonic and melodic sensibility. He does not try to imitate Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly or Herbie Hancock. He explores music in a very personal way in which rhythmic research is the main characteristic, with a rich dialogue between two hands perfectly independent.
Citizen Jazz – Michel Arcens :
Thierry Maillard is one of the most talented French pianists. "Behind the Mirror" will contribute to his notoriety because he expands new horizons in which richness must be perpetually rediscovered. It is not easy to be both original and faithful, and he shows us once again his intelligence. Inter alia…
Jazz Magazine – Fara C. about "Paris New York" album :
Thierry Maillard achieved a childhood dream. The pleasure of playing, which we can feel throughout this album, highlights a mature talent. Recorded in New York, almost in one shot, this album proposes such a significant spontaneity in live. Dennis Chambers (drummer of John Scofield, George Clinton, Mike Stern, John McLaughlin…) and John Patitucci (bassist of Dave Liebman, Diane Schuur, Dizzy Gillepsie, Chick Corea…) are not only the accompaniment. They bring their character and their heart. Chambers channels his power to embroider a lace tempo, and the way Patitucci goes easily from electric bass to the bass awesome and reveals great truth. If Thierry Maillard gets famously along with those two virtuosos, it's because he shares with them the attraction of energy and rhythm. His musical richness and his luxuriant curiosity drove him to release an original album that finds a place between the Afro-American musical legacy and a European culture, subtly combined…
Midi Libre about "Notre histoire" :
The tracks of « Notre Histoire » reflect a unique and magic sound, this album is worthy of a classical album. All emotion is in the dialogue between piano and strings which give the listener a feeling of melancholy as soon as the album starts playing. This album reveals a new facet of Thierry Maillard, which is abundant and inspired…
Les Echos – Renaud Czarnes :
Thierry Maillard is one of those musicians who dare. To dare when you speak about music or whatever else, is not self-evident. It means that you have to put yourself into danger. You have to question yourself, which may be risky, when everyone always chooses the lowest gradient, and tries to escape from the abrupt paths…After all very different records, Thierry Maillard shows that he is not the man of a single track. He needs to play against to play better. Actually, what we prefer among jazz musicians is when, above all, they are incorrigible players…
Jazz Hot talking about "Time's color":
This Solo's second opus transmits the clear and gracious sound of Thierry Maillard's piano. He brings us in ballad, sometimes melancholic, sometimes sweet, soft and strong…Compositions are powerful and provide an overview of the clear talent of Thierry Maillard.
Jazz en France – Pierre Dulieu :
Thierry Maillard, with a certain audacity, started his recording career with John Pattitucci and Dennis Chambers. His first album called "Paris – New York" was already showing his astonishing maturity against those jazz professionals from the other side of the Atlantic. Since, he keeps showing us his astonishing virtuosity…
Jazz Magazine – Jacques Aboucaya :
Between Jazz and classical music, Thierry Maillard's compositions give to each instruments a clearly defined style. This balancing act engenders his musical coherence, where appear various influences. The talents of this musician, who assert an engaging personality album after album, are undeniable.
Jazz Podium – Jorg Konrad, about "Paris New York" :
It's like Thierry Maillard wanted to play with his soul, his album is spectacular! He is like a superlative's pianist, who penetrates much more deeply than occasional productions, and manage, with an extraordinary way, to have behind him two American stars like Chambers and Patitucci. To listen and to follow closely…
France Culture – Bruno Heuzé :
The way Thierry Maillard plays confirms with brightness a musical personality combining subtlety and power of expression, intimacy and dynamism with a beautiful melodic sensibility. We can immediately feel that music gives back to him a great tenderness that he feels for "her"…
Jazzman – Matthieu Jouan :
Only few French musicians persist in writing development…
Thierry Maillard has performed in festivals around the world. Since 1992, he has performed on stage and has recorded albums with the finest musicians, including John Patitucci, Dennis Chambers, Bireli Lagrene, Chris Minh Doky, Bobby Shew, Débora Seffer, Michel Portal, Bernard Lubat, Yochk'o Seffer, Didier Lockwood, Dominique Di Piazza, Matthew Garrison, Robin DiMaggio, Neil Gerstenberg, UZEB with Paul Brochu, Alain Caron and Michel Cusson, Stéphane Guillaume, Dominique Bertram, Jérôme Regard, Laurent Robin…