Bean is a Montreal-based trio comprised of Marie-Claire Durand on piano, Joel Kerr on bass, and Mark Nelson on drums. The group was founded in September 2010 in order to fill the need for an exploratory artistic process of musical experimentation, focusing on free group improvisation, approaching and exploring music with a spirit of uninhibited spontaneity.
Although the instrumentation is the same as a classic jazz piano trio (piano, bass and drums), Bean is a democratic ensemble. In an attempt to distance themselves from the traditional jazz format of soloists with accompaniment, all three musicians are soloists and accompanists at all times, making group communication paramount.
Bean approaches each improvisation with a different conceptual constraint, resulting in varied and distinct soundscapes. In addition to group improvisations, the group interprets original compositions in the same aesthetic as its playful free improvisations.
Spontaneity, playfulness and communication are paramount in a best pal. Bean‘s best pal is named Foot Foot.
The trio recorded their first EP in November 2010, and in December 2011 they received a Research and Development grant from Conseil des arts et des letters Québec (CALQ) for a composition retreat at the Orford Centre for the Arts. In 2012 Bean received funding from Jeunes Volontaires to self-record a full length album, which was released in June 2013.