In over 30 years in the music business, jazz pianist Bill Stevenson has tried a wide variety of styles, always coming back to the blues-oriented style of jazz that he was exposed to in his teens and early twenties around the clubs of Ottawa, Montreal, Boston and New York. With early influence from Otis Spann and Jack Dupre came a raw feel that a young guy can strive for but, as his musical tastes broadened, the works of musical greats like Count Basie and Ray Charles started to creep into his repertoire. It was the intimate sound of the cabaret voice and the friendship of fellow club musicians that led him to record his first solo CD, Shall We Call It A Night.
For a number of years now the Bill Stevenson quartet has been working as the show band or dance band aboard passenger ships. These contracts have taken The Quartet through parts of South East Asia, China, Northern Australia, Alaska, West Coast of Canada and the US, Mexico, Central America, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Uraguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, the Caribean, Acores, Canary Islands, Gibraltar, Spain and Portugal. While traveling, the band played swing blues dance style for people from all walks in life as well had a feature presentation show, based on a loose history of Jazz in the twentieth century. The Quartet personnel has changed a bit in the last two years from time to time. Tom Easley has played bass for most of the time, replaced Wes Neil during the Panama runs. New York native, Tom Partington, has been the main drummer in South East Asia and South America, spelled by Annapolis Valley native Alex Porter for the Alaska and Panama runs. Evan Shaw has been the reed man for all the cruises.
A tape project has been completed for sale aboard the ships, featuring the Quartet’s treatment of well known standards entitled Let’s Get Away From It All.
Other projects have included a Jump band called the Tell All Your Troubles Goodbye Band. Formed specifically for some dates during the G7 conference ’95, the band expanded to quintet with the addition of Scott Marshall on tenor sax. This seeded a long term project that showcases some great jump tunes out of the 40’s era as well a good helping of more obscure R&B and Blues Classics.