Tag Archives: Album

Søren Bebe Trio: Echoes


Danish jazz pianist and composer Søren Bebe and his trio have released their excellent sixth studio album ‘Echoes’ in May 2019.

Søren is a busy member of the Danish jazz scene but also his fellow musicians – Kasper Tagel on double bass and Anders Mogensen on drums – are well known and very active musicians.

The trio exists in this form since 2007 and has been able to play concerts around the world, which means, we have some experienced musicians that have been able to develop their own sound over the years. A sound that has been continuously checked and refined through live performances. The result of this process is an excellent album, perfectly balanced and pleasantly soft and melodic. The inspiration of this album comes obviously from jazz music but also  from classical and folk music.

Søren explains: “I’ve always been interested in classical music and fascinated by the classical players and also had my 3-4 years of intense classical training in my 20’s to the point where I almost decided to go all in and l leave the jazz playing behind. That stopped when I heard my teacher’s 14 year old protege in concert and realized how far behind I was. But I still practice and play the masters on a daily basis and have been working on some pieces for the trio. Sospiri Op.70 by Edward Elgar made it to the album and ‘Pavane for a Dead Princess’ by Ravel is just out as a single but from the same session. I also love folk music and I made a whole album with Danish folksong together with singer Ditte Rønn some years ago. We did an arrangement of a fairly unknown Danish folksong ‘Kærlighedstræet’ (the ‘tree of love’) and it has stuck with me ever since so I wanted to do a trio version also”.

Another traditional song that made it onto the album is the well known Danish psalm ‘Jeg er træt og går til ro’ (which means ‘I’m tired and off to bed’). This song is used as a goodnight song for kids but also for funerals as it talks about having a rest while Jesus watches over you. A video of the recording is available and I have added it here for you:

The album starts with the title song ‘Echoes’ which is my favorite tune on the album, soft and slow with an incredible feeling of space and time.

‘Waltz for Steve’ is a homage to Steve Swallow. The first solo goes here to Kasper Tagel on double bass followed by a great piano solo. After the soft beginning we hear the jazzy side of this trio.

The next song ‘Winx’ returns to the melancholic mood from the beginning, a soft piano dominated ballad with an excellent bass solo.

‘Homeward’ is a composition from Kasper Tagel. There is also a nice video available for this song:

The album continues with the two traditional songs ‘Kærlighedstræet’ and ‘Jeg er træt og går til ro’. Both songs are in the same mood as the initial song and contribute to the soft and melancholic vibe of this album.

‘Alba’ comes next. The song is dedicated to the city of Alba, Italy and its lovely people where Søren and his trio have been able to play a couple of times and where they have made good friends.

‘Alone’ is based on a bass riff played by the piano and even if it is a jazz tune it reminds me a little bit of J.S. Bach.

The next tune ‘New Beginning’ stands out. Søren has some more details: “Finally we did some free improvisation in the studio which resulted in two songs, one of them being on the album and entitled ‘New Beginning’. The title is a reference to a song from Charlie Haden’s album ‘The Montréal Tapes’ which is one of my personal top 10 albums”.

The album finishes with ‘Sospiri Op.70′ by Edward Elgar, a romantic composition that fits perfectly into the style of this trio.

This album comes in a very soft and melancholic mood. The music of this trio is extremely calm and melodic and it spans the bridge from the classical music of the 19th century into our era. The inspiration from classical and folk music gives the trio and this album it’s unique sound and atmosphere.

More information about Søren and his projects is available on his website: https://www.sorenbebe.dk/

And finally a playlist on Spotify to listen to the whole album:


Alex Hitchcock Quintet: All Good Things



Today’s album comes from London-born saxophonist and composer Alex Hitchcock who is one of the rising stars of the UK jazz scene. He leads his own quintet, the Alex Hitchcock Quintet that gained a lot of recognition in 2018 after releasing the live EP “Live At The London And Cambridge Jazz Festivals”. The quintet won the first price in the Conad Jazz Contest at the 2018 Umbria Jazz Festival and toured quite intensively in 2018. The momentum and spirit from this period led to the album “All Good Things” which was released on May 31 by the Spanish contemporary jazz label “Fresh Sound New Talent”.

The line-up of the quintet is:

  • Alex Hitchcock – tenor saxophone
  • James Copus – trumpet/flugelhorn
  • Will Barry – piano/keyboards
  • Joe Downard – bass
  • Jay Davis – drums

All songs on the album have been written by Alex Hitchcock. All pieces have been thoroughly “road tested” at festivals and gigs throughout Europe in 2018 and the musicians had a chance to get inside each composition and to improvise freely within them.

The first song on the album is called “Hamburg 2010″ and starts with a rather simple melody with long notes from which the saxophone solo develops over a complex bass and drums groove. Will Barry on piano takes over with a second solo that forces bass and drums to much more dynamics. After an intensive interlude dynamics go back and James Copus plays a beautiful trumpet solo initially accompanied only by piano.

“Mobius” the second song begins with a pushing bass intro over which sax and trumpet play a polyrhythmic melody. The solo-part is a dialog between trumpet and saxophone. Hitchcock comments that: “James is a really inspiring musician to play alongside – one of his explosive solos can lift an entire gig to another level – and I wanted to write a cyclical form that we could trade on and overlap seamlessly while playing on alternate sections”. The song ends with a fantastic drums solo.

“Mint” brings new sound elements. Will Barry is on keyboard and the drums are played rather minimalistic, the horns have a melody mostly in unison with long notes. This song features Alex Hitchcock in laid-back style.

“Adjective Animal” has a simple and beautiful piano intro. One characteristic element of the compositions of Alex Hitchcock are melodies played by the horns in unison with long notes. This song is no exception, but the surprise comes at 2:15 minutes. Groove and sound change and the horns play a much more complex melody. This song features drummer Jay Davis.  Alex Hitchcock has some details: “Jay always finds new ways to approach the same material over the course of a run of performances, making sure the texture and feel of the music is always fresh and original”. The song has also a fantastic keyboard solo and more groove changes towards the end with some interesting drum fills.

“A38″ features Joe Downard on bass, he gets the first solo and we can clearly hear him singing and playing his improvised melody, very nice. The second solo goes to James Copus on flugelhorn. I like his playing very much and this solo is definitely one of my highlights on the album.

“Sorry Not Sorry” comes next and starts with a steady bass and drums groove over which the horns play a twisting melody. Will Barry adds some funky keyboard sounds. James Copus has another chance to pull out all the stops and Will Barry is able to convince us with his keyboard solo.

“Context”, the last song on the album begins with a beautiful piano intro, the melody however is in big contrast to the perfect harmony of the piano. Alex explains: “I wanted the dissonance of the melody to pull the listener’s ear in different directions across a repeated bass line”. The song features Will Barry on piano, he plays an excellent solo on this tune.

An interesting album with excellent musicians, especially James Copus and Will Barry are really impressive. All songs are performed very well and you feel that the musicians have been playing that material for quite some time. The band has a distinct sound and the compositions follow an individual path.

The quintet has received great feedback for its live performances. Please check for yourself with the attached video.

The Alex Hitchcock Quintet is currently on tour in the UK. You can find tour dates on Alex Hitchcock’s website: https://www.alexhitchcock.co.uk/

And again a playlist on Spotify: