Exposé Online banner

Stefan Orins Trio — Liv
(Circum-Disc CIDI 1402, 2014, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2014-12-15

Liv Cover artMy previous encounter with pianist Stefan Orins was on the Circum Grand Orchestra release earlier this year, but as one of such a large ensemble, his contributions were limited; bassist Christophe Hache was the leader and composer. Hache is here in a supporting role on acoustic bass; the drum chair is held down by Peter Orins, also a member of the Orchestra. During my many years of piano lessons, I listened intently to pianists of all genres — jazz, rock, classical — and in the process became very picky about what I enjoy. Not that I can play at their level myself, but I know enough to analyze and understand. All of which just leads to the fact that I'm hard to please when it comes to piano music. The last player who impressed me much was Fred Hersch, and we can add Stefan Orins to that list. His light touch belies a great sense of adventure and humor, and his use of independent lines rather than just melodies over chords brings a lot of interest to the tunes. He has a tendency to harmonize in odd intervals as well, with parallel seconds jumping out occasionally, edgy but not exactly dissonant, at least not by modern standards. Hache's bass playing is outstanding as well — he knows the compositions well enough to know when he can stray from the expected notes into melodic fills or upper extensions of the chords. And Peter Orins drumming is very tasty. Listening closely reveals subtle touches like scraped cymbals. The jaunty "Upplösning" is probably my favorite track, featuring interlocking upper and lower lines, sudden detours into those major seconds as a rhythmic theme, and a fluid solo that starts out lightly and builds in intensity, with only sparse stabs of comped chords. The solo ends with a floating interlude that leads into a recap of the rhythmic theme and a restatement of the opening melody. Lovely. Other tracks drift off into very quiet improvisation, I think including some reaching-inside-the-piano work. Stefan Orins has definitely given us a worthy entry into the massive field that is the piano trio, which should probably appeal to all but the most staid of jazz listeners.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Stefan Orins

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tipographica - God Says I Can't Dance – As well covered in Exposé, Tipographica are one of the best new music ensembles around, a band better suited to those with largely experimental tastes. After a superb debut and equally interesting...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues