Mike Field Jazz Quintet: New Album 'Rush Mode' & Shows in LA and Toronto in 2014

From a media release:

and Upcoming Shows in Los Angeles (February 23, 2014) & Toronto

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Hot on the heels of a wicked New Zealand tour including the prestigious Nelson Jazz Festival, and a recent video release for the title track of the new CD RUSH MODE, Toronto-based trumpeter and composer MIKE FIELD celebrates his homecoming with a major date in Los Angeles and a host of Toronto shows for local fans.

Since the release of his first album Ashes in 2011, brilliant jazz man Mike Field has been on the move gigging from one big city to the next – travelling as far afield as Germany, France and even on board a ship to Antarctica – but mainly shuttling between Los Angeles and Toronto, all the while composing a continuous stream of new material. With a jam-packed release at the Rex in Toronto and now a highly successful showing at the Nelson Jazz Festival in New Zealand, Field continues the whirlwind of activity with Rush Mode – an eclectic collection of jazz tunes ranging from classic bebop to Hispanic-influenced romps. The through line is as the title suggests, a portrait of the way we live our busy lives, though Field’s take is definitely more on the positive side.

As with his last album, Field likes to keep it upbeat on Rush Mode. The band does it all here and they do it all really well. The songs are driven mainly by Field’s playful, virtuoso trumpet and the superb artistry of sax man Paul Metcalfe; the pair play on these recordings as if they’re “brothers from another mother.” The short, snappy, bouncy tunes keep the sense of excitement and energy throughout, save for the hauntingly beautiful ballad “The Last of the Summer Days” featuring the exquisite, smoky vocals of musical guest Sophia Perlman.

Among the highlights are the title track, as above, meet classic bop horns; “Play for You,” a vintage, dirty-thirties-style tune, grounded by a tango beat with seamlessly interwoven play between Metcalfe’s sax and Field’s alternately growling and soaring trumpet; and the aptly-named “Balkan Swing”, an Eastern European snake-charmer that features florid piano riffs and showcases Field’s penchant for world music rhythms and melodies.

The Mike Field Jazz Quintet also includes exceptional players Carlie Howell on upright bass, Dave Chan on drums, Teri Parker on piano with special guest musicians Rosendo "Chendy" León on percussion and Mark Eisenman on Fender rhodes and piano. Produced by Shelly Berger, the nine-track album was recorded at Canterbury Music Company in Toronto between June 2012 and May 2013, engineered by Jeremy Darby and mixed by Andrew Mullin.

The new video, shot during rush hour on the bustling streets of downtown Toronto, the pulsating, Latin-flavoured “Rush Mode” is a vibrant, colourful take on city life at its busiest. At the top of the video, bandleader Mike Field blows his trumpet at the base of an office tower as if attempting to tear down the walls of this grey-hued modern-day Jericho. His horn-playing perfectly embodies the split-screen shots of Torontonians hastening to and fro in the course of their hectic day. The video, directed by Rich Williamson and produced by Shasha Nakhai, both of Compy Films, flows from special guest Kevin Laliberté executing precise, lightning-fast flamenco guitar solos; to Paul Metcalfe performing dynamic, inspired saxophone riffs; culminating in Metcalfe and Field trading incendiary licks reminiscent of Miles Davis and Sony Rollins in Davis’ classic quintet. In fact, the video includes an homage of sorts to Rollins’ years spent practicing on the Brooklyn bridge, with shots of Metcalfe playing on the bridge at Bathurst and Front streets in Toronto. In the end, the scene comes to life in full colour when the musicians battle against life’s challenging daily grind and win the day!

Feb 23 – Lighthouse Cafe – Los Angeles, USA – 11 am-3 pm
Feb 26, Jun 25, Aug 27, Oct 22 – Gate 403 – Toronto, Canada – 9 pm-12 am – Free entry
Feb 28, Mar 8 – Harlem Restaurant –Toronto, Canada – 7:30-11 pm – Free. Reservations recommended.
Mar 7 – Hart House (Jazz at Oscar's) – Toronto, Canada – 9-11pm – Free entry
Mar 21 - 22 –SCAT (Funchal, Madeira)
April 24-27 – Jazz Ahead Conference (Bremen, Germany)
May 17 – Gregory's (Rome, Italy)
Jun 7 – Dream Café (Penticton, BC)
Jun 13, 20, 27, Jul 11, 18, 25, Aug 8, 15, 22, 29 – Harlem Restaurant – Toronto, Canada – 7:30-11 pm – Free. Reservations recommended.