In sound heaven

Søren is now back in Copenhagen from Oslo, where he spent yesterday “in sound heaven” at Rainbow Studio mixing the new Søren Bebe Trio album (due for release later this year) with legendary sound wizard Jan Erik Kongshaug.

“This was such a big experience for me that I can’t really find the words to express it” says a distinctly humble Søren. “Jan Erik has recorded so many great albums, especially for the iconic label ECM. In fact, all the records that have been most influential in my music career, and which have helped me develop my personal sound, were recorded by Jan Erik. Albums like Keith Jarrett Trio’s ‘Standards, Vol. 1 & 2’, and ‘Belonging’ with his Scandinavian Quartet. I must have listened to them thousands of times.”

“I’m really starting to realise just how legendary Jan Erik is. I spent a whole day with him in his studio – just the two of us and his half-million dollar Harrison mixer! And he’s a fund of fabulous stories. Like telling me that, from 1979 to 1984, he flew to New York every week, where he recorded two albums on each trip for ECM’s Manfred Eicher at The Power Station Studios.

“As well as the ‘Standards’ albums I just mentioned, these included another favourite of mine, Pat Metheny’s ‘80/81’ with Charlie Haden, Jack DeJohnette, Dewey Redman and Michael Brecker. Jan Erik also recorded Metheny’s ‘Song X’ album with, among others, the great Ornette Coleman. And he recorded ‘Keith Jarrett Live at Blue Note’ direct to two-track – a five-CD box set that’s also on my Top 5 most-listened-to albums. Oh, and let’s not forget Jarrett’s ‘Standards in Norway’ album…

“Well, I could go on and on naming hundreds of albums that have Jan Erik’s signature on them.
Just the list of pianists he’s worked with is crazy – from Jan Lundgren and Tord Gustavsen to Chick Corea, Bobo Stenson and Paul Bley… The point is obvious: Jan Erik really is one of those people they call ‘a living legend’, and I hope this wasn’t my last visit to his famous Rainbow Studio.”

If you’d like to know more about Jan Erik, there’s a great interview with him by John Kelman at

Date posted: 6 January 2016

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