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Stefan Orins Trio: Liv (2014)

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Stefan Orins Trio: Liv How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The French, Lille-based trio of pianist Stefan Orins, together with double bassist Christophe Hache and (brother) drummer Peter Orins, are members of the Japanese-French quartet Kaze—which is part of the Muzzix musicians collective—a working unit since 1996. The trio released three albums—Natt Resa (Circum-disc, 2004), Bonheur Temporaire (Circum-disc, 2006) and Stöt (Circum-disc, 2010) and toured throughout Europe.

As a known Buddhist maxim tells, Liv, the trio's fourth album, demonstrates how "the deeper the roots, the more luxuriant the branches." It is not only the melodic flow that characterizes Stefan Orins's original compositions and the tight dynamics of the trio but also a profound spirit of trust, mutual listening and shared sense of pulse, silence and space.

Orins compositions operate on few levels. The immediate, intuitive and supportive interplay is obvious after so many years of playing together, but there is more to every composition. Each is structured like a mini drama, an arresting story with many shifts in its story lines and deep emotional core that culminate in highly playful articulation of its theme. It may be Stefan Orins who builds the unresolved tension of the title-piece, the reserved and tasteful bass playing of Hache that stresses the playfulness of "Vicky the Cat," the restless and powerful pulse of Peter Orins that ignites "Upplösning," or the game-like approach of all three musicians and their own personal interpretations of the expressive theme of "Kraków"

The most impressive composition is "Henri Grouès," after the French catholic priest, known also as Abbé Pierre, a member of the French resistance to the Nazi regime during World War II, who helped Jews to escape the Nazi arrests in occupied France. Its power lies in its most beautiful, poetic theme, emotional depth but moreover, its restrained, at times almost silent, articulation.

Beautiful and highly impressive.

Track Listing: Initiales VV; Liv; Vicky the Cat; Upplösning; Henri Grouès; Bruxelles Charleroi; Kraków.

Personnel: Stefan Orins: piano; Christophe Hache: double bass; Peter Orins: drums.

Record Label: Circum-disc


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