Contemporary jazz keyboardist, composer, and producer Philippe Saisse was born in Marseilles and raised in Paris; the son of a staff producer at CBS/Sony France, he studied piano, music theory, and composition at the Paris National Conservatory, winning Boston's Berklee College of Music's prestigious Paul Winter Scholarship upon graduating in 1975.
At Berklee, Saisse became the protégé of vibraphonist Gary Burton, leading to a tenure playing behind Narada Michael Walden; he made his recorded debut on Al Di Meola's 1979 effort Splendido Hotel, and in addition to jazz also expanded into pop session work with appearances on David Bowie's Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), Chaka Khan's I Feel for You, and the Rolling Stones' Dirty Work. Saisse also earned notice writing material for Di Meola, Al Jarreau (for whom he also co-produced the 1988 LP Heart's Horizon), and David Sanborn; he additionally served as the musical director on the Sanborn-hosted TV series Night Music.
In 1988 Saisse signed to Windham Hill for the release of his solo debut, Valerian. He then returned to studio work, appearing on albums by Bowie, Jarreau, Luther Vandross, and others before returning with 1995's Masques. Next Voyage followed in 1997, and two years later he resurfaced with Halfway Till Dawn, which featured a guest appearance by Angélique Kidjo. Over the next decade, Saisse stayed busy appearing on albums by Marc Antoine, Kirk Whalum, Dave Koz, and more. He also continued to release a handful of solo albums including 2005's Storyteller and 2009's Philippe Saisse, which featured contributions from Whalum and Antoine, as well as Jeff Golub, Rick Braun, and others. In 2017, he delivered the trio effort Blue Rondo. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi