Born in Odense and based in Copenhagen, Danish pianist and composer Søren Bebe belongs to the tradition of melodic and soulful Northern European musicians who tend to favour a minimal and emotional style in their approach to composition and arrangement. “For years I’ve been inspired by musicians like guitarist Jakob Bro, pianist Tord Gustavsen, bass player Charlie Haden and composer Arvo Pärt for their very clear artistic choices and integrity” says the pianist. Pursuing that same objective with Kasper Tagel on bass and Anders Mogensen on drums, Søren Bebe Trio’s new instalment Home was released 1st November 2016 last.

Søren Bebe Trio: Home (2016)
Søren Bebe Trio: Home (2016)

A prolific composer, Søren Bebe draws constant inspiration from his extensive worldwide touring schedule either as a solo artist, with his trio or as a sideman. Formed in 2007, the Søren Bebe Trio has released five recordings to date, including Eva (2013) featuring American double bass player Marc Johnson.

Another notable collaboration is his 2014 project Bebuta featuring Jakob Buchanan on flugelhorn and trumpet, Julian Arguelles on saxophones and Helge Andreas Norbakken on drums and percussion.

The musician is also a freelance accompanist for dance and has been working with the Royal Danish Ballet and the Danish National School of Performing Arts on a regular basis.

Released in 2013, his Music for Ballet and Contemporary Classes introduced a first collection of compositions on solo piano devised to cover the common training routine of ballet dancers (warm up, plié, tendu, jeté, frappé, assemblé etc.). All the rhythmic exercises are not solely confined to the classical canon but touch on blues, ragtime, jazz of course and also feature tangos, waltzes or more lyrical pieces.

Keeping the strict form but integrating it with an inspiring and floating quality”, the music can also “be used as inspiration for choreography, contemporary classes or pure listening.

This very successful side project prompted the musician to set up its own dedicated YouTube channel, and a follow up Double CD Music for Ballet Class Vol.1 & 2 was released in October 2016 last.

This stripped-down exploration of rhythm and movement finds an obvious echo in Søren Bebe’s more recent trio work. Wonderfully introduced visually by the minimalist cover artwork, Home features 11 new compositions. Adopting a quiet pace from the outset with “The path to somewhere”, all three musicians maintain the same melodic fluidity throughout the album. With its Cuban groove, “A simple song” is the only “dance tune” while “Tango for T” (written as an homage to Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen) remains beautifully subdued.

The album is also replete with superb ballads (“Time”, “Look out now” or the title track) all sustained by subtle brush patterns on drums. With the interweaving bass lines and hovering piano, the trio manages to achieve this “wonderful feeling of being ‘in flow’ with the music”. (Søren Bebe on “Floating”)