Traipsing from somber lulls to jubilant bursts, trumpeter Mike Field is a force of nature flint by a mix of bop and swing with schisms of improvisation. His new CD, Phoenix Rising from the Ashes features Carlie Howell on upright bass, Dave Chan on drums, Paul Metcalfe on tenor saxophone, and Matt Newton on piano. Produced by Field, the recording is a lavish assortment of intertwining swirls and a tussle of flourishes tethered to a sprinting stride.
The dance-driven motifs of "Number Three" are ignited by the exchanging dialogue between the horns while Newton's piano's keys in "Unwanted" impress a congenial jostling in the track. The strolling gait of "Nathan Phillips Square" is draped in Field's malleable toots protracting and contracting at whim, as "Ashes" is garnished in elegant swags and sophisticated lobes in the horns. The trotting strut of the drum taps in "Missing in Paris" are sheath in soft billowing trumpet flares; whereas the taut bass plucks of "The Upstanding Translator" take led in this swinging tune. The Latin-tinged horns of "Locology" stimulate mobility in the rhythm section and switches to silky rustles in "Volcano Waltz" as the contemplative mood of "Gotu Kola" is softly trussed in slow moving keys.
Elements of bop and swing are molded into exquisite sonic sculptures in Ashes. Field's classical training is apparent and his mastery of the trumpet is inspiring. He immerses himself in straight ahead jazz idioms and tweaks them with a contemporary approach.