Alister Spence Trio


Alister Spence piano
Lloyd Swanton double bass
Toby Hall drums, glockenspiel

  1. caught in light 2.58
  2. interior system 2.21
  3. five hundred suns 7.30
  4. tell between< 2.03
  5. six acts 3.10
  6. neon and rain 5.16
  7. sink and trace 1.55
  8. radium 6.07
  9. hover 4.21
  10. meld 2.38
  11. seven hundred street signs 2.14
  12. calcium 3.57
  13. wash away 3.48
  14. two halves of the moon 3.27
  15. fathom 2.19
  16. another october 3.38
  17. caught in light (reprise) 2.58

All compositions by Spence/Swanton/Hall except ‘another october’ by Spence

Super 8 film art and DVD production Louise Curham

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'fit' - RF085


This is the fourth release for this internationally acclaimed group, and again they delve deeper into their captivating and highly original musical world.

fit launches a new project that blends (or ‘fits’) texture, soundscape, free improvisation and editing, while still offering strong melody and seemingly effortless interplay, hallmark elements for these collaborators.

The companion DVD features the work of film artist Louise Curham set to the band’s music. She is at the forefront of Australian moving image art, highly regarded in the experimental film world for work using ‘obsolete media’. Her hand--worked Super 8 films reinvent the home movie medium of years past, through colour, texture and abstracted image.

fit is another big step forward for the trio, a worthy successor to their ARIA—nominated Flux (2003) and Mercury (2007).

Not surprisingly, they have attracted interest overseas:

* in 2006, they played in the UK and Canada, including the Vancouver and Montreal Jazz International Jazz festivals;

* in 2008, they performed at the prestigious Tokyo Jazz Festival;

* in June, the trio was chosen by Brian Eno along with The Necks and Pivot, to play at the Luminous Festival at the Sydney Opera House;

* in October, Alister will perform the trio’s music with distinguished European musicians at the Vilnius Jazz Festival (Lithuania) and club dates in Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

’This is a massive breakthrough for the Alister Spence Trio; a collective leap of imagination far beyond anything the band has attempted before.

On most pieces, all vestiges of a conventional piano-bass-drums jazz trio are erased, replaced by three-way real-time composing, with a microscope placed on group texture, so that tiny contributions from each instrument become monumental parts of the enthralling music. The result is that Spence's piano and electronics, Lloyd Swanton's bass and Toby Hall's drums and glockenspiel emerge as utterly equal partners. Even when the bass and drums revert to rhythm section functions as on Five Hundred Suns, the piano is reined in and shares the misty foreground with Hall's glockenspiel.

The programming is also inspired, creating a narrative studded with contrasts.

An accompanying DVD contains films by Louise Curham to go with three tracks. While I admire Curham's work, it fails to dispel my suspicion that the video-music interface remains an artistic cul-de-sac.’

John Shand Sydney Morning Herald

fit Voted in Top 15 Jazz/Impro releases worldwide for 2009.

Wire Magazine (UK) Jan 2010 rewind edition.

‘Strong melody and interplay dominate…contemporary jazz is crossed with ambient, electronica and other genres… totally compelling’

Jazz Journal (UK)

‘A massive leap forward…enthralling music.’ 
John Shand Sydney Morning Herald

‘A major album which arguably breaks new ground, and repays attentive listening (and viewing) in spades.’

Tony Mitchell Music Forum

‘Sonic delights invite full attention in a quiet space.’

Roger Mitchell Sunday Herald Sun

‘takes the listener on an unusual but richly rewarding spatial journey.

Charles Lidgard extempore

‘This recording will attract new listeners looking for musical abstraction.’

John McBeath The Weekend Australian

‘The cutting edge of modern Australia defined’ 

Sydney Morning Herald 2008

‘Ingenious themes…Spence is certainly a talent deserving wider recognition’ 

The Wire, UK, 2008

‘Spence has that priceless gift of always leaving you wanting more’

Jazzwise Magazine, UK, 2006

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