Edwin (Eddie) Jobson (born April 28, 1955 in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees, England) is an English keyboardist and violinist noted for his use of synthesizers. He has been a member of several progressive rock bands, including Curved Air, Roxy Music, 801, UK, and Jethro Tull. He was also part of Frank Zappa's band in 1976-77. Aside from his keyboard work Jobson has also gained acclaim for his violin playing.
Jobson began playing the piano at age 7 and violin at age 8. Later he attended Bede Hall Grammar School, leaving at age 16. At that point he joined the band Fat Grapple, playing locally in venues such as Redcar Jazz Club. It was at this venue that they played in support of Curved Air, which Jobson joined the following year.
At this time Jobson fronted Fat Grapple on electric violin, opening with a spirited rendition of the current hit piece Jig-a-Jig. The band played original compositions and were well regarded, but failed to break out beyond the Newcastle area. None the less, Jobson's playing won him a place in Curved Air.
In 1973 he replaced Brian Eno in Roxy Music, getting the job partially through a connection between his sister and the sister of singer Bryan Ferry, who knew each other in college. Jobson found himself playing three roles: Eno's, Ferry's (who had stepped up as a frontman after first playing piano), and his own. Jobson stayed with the band for three studio albums and countless tours.
In 1976, with Roxy on a hiatus, Jobson recorded an obscure solo single, "Yesterday Boulevard" b/w On a Still Night", playing all instruments himself with the exception of drums (by Simon Phillips). These two instrumentals have become a sought-after collectors' item, having never been reissued since.
After turning down an offer to join Procol Harum, Jobson became a member of Frank Zappa's band in mid-1976. He appeared on the cover of the Zoot Allures album in spite of not playing a single note on it. He did however perform on the Zappa in New York live double album.
In 1977, Eddie helped form the cult prog rock supergroup UK. Other members included former King Crimson members Bill Bruford (drums) and John Wetton (bass and lead vocals) (Jobson had overdubbed violin and piano parts of KC's 1975 live album USA) and Allan Holdsworth (guitar). They released three official albums. The eponymous debut UK, Danger Money and the live set Night After Night.
After UK broke up in early 1980, Jobson started work on a solo project, but was then asked to participate in Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson's solo album, which became the Tull opus A, on which Jobson was credited as a 'special guest'. He stayed on for the subsequent world tour, playing his final live show in France in February 1981.
In the 1980s, Jobson released two albums. The Green Album - under the project name Zinc (1983) was performed in a rock-band format with session musicians, and Theme of Secrets (1985) was an electronic album and one of the first releases from New Age record label Private Music. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s he also built a successful career as a composer of TV and film soundtracks. He scored nearly 100 episodes of the TV series Nash Bridges. He also produced the Bulgarian Women Choir's 2000 album Voices of Life, contributing three new compositions (from an abortive UK reunion project called Legacy) and playing violin on two of the new pieces. Since 2000, he has run Globe Music Media Arts, which describes itself as a music/video production company, music publishing company, and online store. The official Eddie Jobson web site and forum went online in 2006.
In October 2007, Jobson announced the formation of a new band, UKZ, with Trey Gunn and others, which will see Jobson's re-entry to the live/recording arenas.