Danish pianist Soren Bebe plays a melancholy, minimalistic music almost shorn of rhythm. It is gentle and flowing and easy to get lost in. When one of his pieces ends, it can be like waking from a dream.
"But is it jazz?" The jury is still out on that one and will be for some time to come. Bebe's music is certainly in the tradition of Esbjorn Svensson and Tord Gustavsen, who were eventually, albeit perhaps unwillingly, accepted into the jazz fold. And to his credit, Bebe's touch is surer than theirs was, warmer and more down-to-earth.
His roots are obviously in the classical tradition and he has lately benefited from stints accompanying Danish vocalist Caecilie Norby and herouch!Sisters In Jazz. He has evensomewhat ridiculouslybeen likened to Erroll Garner. Does any of this really matter? Whatever gets you through the night, friends: it's nice to get lost now and again, as Chet Baker would no doubt confirm if he wasn'tunfortunatelydead.
But it's worth mentioning thatin the best tradition of jazz pianists and their bass playersBebe has an almost telepathic accord with his own bassist, Kasper Tagel. Their work on the title song, "Waltz for Steve" and the closer, Elgar's "Sospiri Op 70" attest to this.
Meanwhile, Scandinavian culture vultures, please note the inclusion of a traditional Danish number, "Kaerlighedstraeet," based on a form of Medieval French verse. It's followed by "Jeg Er Traet Og Går Til Ro (I Am Tired and Going To My Rest)," a Danish hymn. We are spared the words. Danish is not one of the world's most mellifluous languages.
Echoes; Waltz for Steve; Winx; Homeward; Kaerlighedstraet; Jeg; Alba; Alone; New
Beginning; Sospiri; Op.70.
Soren Bebe: piano; Kasper Tagel: bass; Anders Mogensen: drums.