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Stefan Orins — Summer's Hopes
(Circum-Disc microcidi016, 2020, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-09-08

Summer's Hopes Cover art

Stefan Orins is a pianist and composer with his hands in a lot of different projects: the jazz trio that bears his name, the Circum Grand Orchestra, Ten Worlds, Max Klezmer Band, and many others, or in the case of Summer’s Hopes, a purely solo piano endeavor without any other accompaniment. The twelve tracks herein seem to eschew any convenient classifications or genres, although technique-wise one might hear some of Orins’ jazz roots, though they seem to straddle many colorful ideas, bringing along with them some avant-gardisms, bursts of brilliant colors, wandering dreamy sequences, curious noodling, and intensely aggressive vignettes, all delivered with heartfelt emotion. As a listener it’s hard to critique something that comes from a space so close to the heart, it’s best to just relax with what is presented and go with the flow, wherever that may take you. Many of the pieces are compositionally well defined, whether they are charted out or not, while other pieces (or even parts of the same ones) often seem like freely delivered improvisations. One might find certain elements more interesting than others on initial listen, but with time Orins’ compositional style finds a oneness and beauty that carries forward from one number to the next, and with many listens congeal into a self-identifying whole, that is so far away from any standard genres that it finds itself in its very own universe, except the listener becomes an integral part of the experience, as the parade of beautiful tones and angular twists float effortlessly into deep space...

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Stefan Orins

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