Tim Richards Trio - Shapeshifting
This is Tim Richards’ first trio recording since 2003, and marks a return to jazz activity after taking two years out to study for a Masters in Composition. The pianist may be best known for his work in Spirit Level and the subsequent Great Spirit, but there is plenty to admire in this setting, a combination of original compositions and well chosen covers in a variety of styles, taking in bop, modal, blues and Latin along the way.
The covers include engaging takes on material by fellow pianists – Bud Powell’s propulsive ‘Un Poco Loco’, Bobby Timmons’ funky blues ‘This Here’, Cedar Walton’s much-covered ‘Bolivia’ and Duke Ellington’s ‘Prelude To A Kiss’ and ‘Come Sunday’. Bass player Dominic Howles forms a swinging unit with drummer Jeff Lardner in the engine room of the trio, and provides one of the five originals. Richards wrote the others, and is in inventive form throughout an enjoyable set.