Nurturing the great tradition of Scandinavian jazz ensembles and comprised of Søren Bebe on piano, Anders Mogensen on drums and Kasper Tagel on double bass, the Copenhagen-based Søren Bebe Trio was formed in 2007. Following on from their 2016 Home and self-released on 10 May 2019 last, Echoes is the trio’s sixth studio album.
Like many like-minded European jazz pianists, Søren Bebe is following in the footsteps of the more lyrical American pianists. But his style is equally rooted in Western classical music and the Nordic folk tradition. If Echoes features seven new compositions, the album concludes with the trio’s take on Edward Elgar’s “Sospiri Op.70 – Adagio for Strings, Harp and Organ” while one of the tracks from the Echoes recording sessions that weren’t included in the record but released separately as a bonus digital EP on Bandcamp features Maurice Ravel’s “Pavane for a Dead Princess”.
The trio also performs “Kærlighedstræet” (the tree of love), a traditional Danish folk song – with the bass line entirely bowed here – which Søren Bebe recorded as the RØST duo with singer Ditte Rønn back in 2011. “Jeg er træt og går til ro” (I am tired and going to rest) is a Danish psalm which was composed in 1869 by Jørgen Malling.
Whereas many contemporary jazz bands tend to infuse their music with an urban vibe taking its cue from electronic, pop rock or dance music, Søren Bebe Trio’s classical/Nordic folk grounding lends the entire album a consistently restrained serenity. Almost exclusively articulated around the ballad form, every track on Echoes – bar “New Beginning” and “Ennio” on the bonus release perhaps – revolves around a soft dusting of piano notes which in turn provides ample scope for bass, brushes and cymbals to meander through the space created. “Alone” is superb and “Sospiri Op.70” concludes the record with a timeless elegance.