Alister is recognised as one of the most creative and original contemporary pianist / composers in Australia. His wide-ranging talents have led to performances with many musicians across the contemporary music spectrum including Ed Kuepper and The Laughing Clowns, Paul Capsis and The Australian Art Orchestra.
In recent years, he has devoted his energy to writing and performing with his trio - The Alister Spence Trio - with Lloyd Swanton (the Necks) on double bass and Toby Hall (Mike Nock Trio) drums and glockenspiel. This celebrated group has recorded 4 CDs of Alister’s original music: Three is a Circle in 2000 (released in Japan in January 2003, on the Earth Spirit Label), Flux in 2003, Mercury in 2006 and fit in 2009, all on Rufus Records, distributed in Australia by Universal Music.
Fit was voted in the top 15 jazz / improvisation releases worldwide for 2009 by The Wire, UK. Mercury was nominated for Best Jazz Album 2007 at the ARIA (Australian recording Industry) Awards and Flux also was nominated for an ARIA in 2004.
The trio has toured internationally in the UK and Canada (2006) and in Japan (2008) including performances at the Montreal Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Tokyo Jazz Festival and with musicians such as Satoko Fujii, Jim O’Rourke, Michiyo Yagi and Kenichi Matsumoto. In 2009 and 2011, Alister toured in Europe and the UK, performing at the Vilnius Jazz Festival and club dates with (amongst others) Raymond MacDonald (Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra), Joseph Williamson (Tobias Delius Quartet) and Tony Buck (the Necks).
In June 2009, Brian Eno invited the Trio to support Jon Hassell in the Luminous Festival at the Sydney Opera House.