Tim Stevens Trio

Tracks: (MP3 samples)
  1. Awaiting Ben 2:40 (Beck/Stevens)
  2. Lu-bird 9:06 (Stevens)
  3. Wiseband and huff 6:33 (Beck/Robertson/Stevens)
  4. The Armstrong chair 5:06 (Stevens)
  5. Dances with Jimmy 5:22 (Stevens)
  6. Initiatrix 6:00 (Beck/Robertson/Stevens)
  7. Two secrets 6:06 (Stevens)
  8. Bluesosphere blogs 6:29 (Stevens)
  9. .Letters, diaries 5.53 (Beck/Robertson/Stevens)
  10. Opinion fear 5.27 (Stevens)
  11. Genericana 8:32 (Beck/Robertson/Stevens)

All compositions Copyright Control

Total time 65:14


Tim Stevens piano
Ben Robertson acoustic bass
Dave Beck drums

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'Scare Quotes' RF098

Scare quotes is the fourth album for Rufus from Tim Stevens (piano), Ben Robertson (bass) and Dave Beck (drums), following Nine open questions (2004), Three friends in winter (2005), and Mickets (2008).

The program comprises six recent original compositions by Tim Stevens, most of which were premiered at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz, and five collective improvisations. Because the trio pursues both pre-structured and spontaneously improvised forms, and having attended to each on separate albums previously, the aim with this album was to demonstrate their relatedness through close placement.

The band’s primary objectives remain the development of a distinctive ensemble sound, with the personalities of its three members featured equally (and each in its own character), and the further elaboration of the interplay that has identified it thus far. The co-composition that takes place not only within the spontaneous improvisations but also through the exploration of the written forms is a hallmark of the band. Beck’s drumming in ‘Lu-bird’, for example, where he has isolated melodic motives from the head and uses them as central elements in his contribution, is a structurally conscious demonstration of his extraordinary musicality. Robertson’s improvisations – dextrous, ambitious and always melodic – on the written tunes, extend upon his matchless work in accompaniment, where his harmonic understanding and rhythmic invention allow him to cast a breathtaking range of shades and colours over the material provided by Stevens. And compositionally Stevens refuses to sit still; the level of concentration in the material, and the discretion with which it is developed, signal his continued evolution.

Scare Quotes is the latest document of a band committed to ongoing exploration. The journey continues!

‘Some musical performances reflect the interrelationship between the players more tangibly than others...As a trio, [their] lyricism...is entirely co-operative, rather than being an asset radiating luxuriantly from the keyboard, alone. The overwhelming impression throughout is of players more intent on listening than asserting. When they improvise collectively they are like three brushes gradually covering the same canvas: prompting each other but never painting each other into corners of limited options. A sumptuous beauty permeates most of the music, sided by a wonderfully transparent recording quality.’
John Shand Sydney Morning Herald

‘This CD is the fourth release from the trio of pianist Tim Stevens, bassist Ben Robertson and percussionist Dave Beck. The album was recorded in a single session in mid-2010 and it exhibits the sort of spontaneity that comes from a group of like-minded musicians that clearly enjoy playing together. While the album displays a wide emotional range, the sense of joy running throughout is palpable.

Six of the album’s eleven tracks are new compositions from the pianist. The tunes are intricate yet sound deceptively simple. Stevens has many that very difficult trick of writing pieces that are fresh and original, yet instantly memorable...The other five tracks are group improvisations...

By placing the improvisations alongside the compositions, Stevens has effectively amalgamated the two approaches that characterised the earlier releases from the trio...and as a result, Stevens has made probably his most diverse sounding album to date. It’s also, in my opinion, his best so far.’

Aaron Searle Music Forum