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Recordings

Mike Downes - Root Structure (Addo Records) - CD

Mike Downes - Root Structure (Addo Records)

CD

2018 JUNO Award winner for Jazz Album of the Year: Solo

 

Root Structure is the newest album from bassist Mike Downes and his quartet. Featuring four of Canada’s top jazz musicians – Mike Downes (JUNO award winner 2014), Robi Botos (JUNO award winner 2016), Ted Quinlan (JUNO nomination 2003) and Larnell Lewis (Grammy award winner with Snarky Puppy 2017), “Root Structure” explores lyrical compositions with a deep underlying structural integrity.

 

 

"5/5 - This album is as close to perfect as it is possible to get and fully warrants its rating here. Buy it!" Alan Musson, UK Vibe (read the full review)

“One of the most intriguing and innovative small group jazz recordings of the year” Lesley Mitchell-Clarke, theWholeNote  (read the full review)

“Simply beautifully-written repertoire. Downes’ traversal of the ten songs is spellbinding…” Raul da Gama, Toronto Music Report (read the full review)

 “The new album is amazingly good, the music well composed, the redemption completely eminent and the whole thing so absolutely listenable… compositions and improvisations flow naturally, organically, and it makes the experience special.”  Ivan Rod, Danish jazz critic (read the full review)

 “Mike has produced a beautiful new record that shows the great playing of these heavyweights but also Mike's tremendous compositions.” JAZZ.FM91 First Listen (read the full review)

 “Root Structure is, as stated, a world class recording from beginning to end… the album presents ten wide-ranging compositions primarily written by Downes and executed with exceptional musicality by the quartet” Textura (read the full review)

 “The music soars with melody and lush solos along with powerful rhythmic foundation… Jazz versions of classical tunes are common, but this group’s interpretation of a Chopin’s Prelude shows how such a crossover should be done…” Keith Black, The Winnipeg Free Press (read the full review)

 “Mike Downes' "Root Structure" has everything a jazz lover looks for in a record: outstanding compositions, tight ensemble play and dynamic soloing. "Root Structure" demands repeated listens with constant rewards.” Ron Steeds, CKCU-FM

 “A super tasty quartet date that's sure to bring him another Juno, this bass ace is incapable of letting you down. By all means, put this winner on your list.” Midwest Record (read the full review)

“They swing or they quietly reflect, they expand tunes or play with tightness and precision...The title tune is also funky and catchy..." KUCI.org 88.9 FM (read the full review)

"His pulse on the strings is thick and palpable..." George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly (read the full review)

"A team that has everything covered. Together, they carry out Downes' mission of foundational exploration while shedding light on his compositional gifts." Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz (read the full review)

“Throughout, the music’s executed with tremendous clarity and intention. In other words, as proficient as they are, Quinlan, Downes, Botos and Lewis put musicality first.” Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen (read the full review)

 

"In music and life, I’ve always been interested in what lies beneath the surface: the underlying structures that hold everything together, the strength that resides deep down. The music in this recording was composed and performed in this spirit." Mike Downes

 

We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

 

DETAILS
Mike Downes - In the Current (Addo Records) -

Mike Downes - In the Current (Addo Records)

Mike Downes bass, conductor, Colleen Allen alto and soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet and bass clarinet, Kelly Jefferson tenor and soprano saxophones, Shirantha Beddage baritone, tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet and bass clarinet, Jonathan Challoner trumpet and flugelhorn, James MacDonald F/Bb horn, descant horn, Kelsley Grant trombone, N. Jay Burr tuba, Brian Dickinson piano and keyboard, Ted Quinlan guitar and Mark Kelso drums and percussion.

 

 

The Mike Downes Parallel Streams Ensemble is an 11-piece jazz group featuring some of the top musicians in Toronto. Led by one of Canada's foremost bassists and composers, the group showcases Mike's melodic and textural compositional approach that takes full advantage of the timbral possibilities of the ensemble. Drawing inspiration from "third stream" music, in which Gil Evans, Miles Davis, Gunther Schuller and others fused elements of Western art music with jazz in the 1950s, Mike is moving into 2014 with music that "emanates from all the experiences in my life and from the many tributaries that have converged into the collective stream of music" (In the Current liner notes). In the Current, on Addo Records, will be released in early 2014.

Already on the list of top Canadian jazz CDs by Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen

read Ottawa Citizen

Review on Bop-N-Jazz:  http://www.criticaljazz.com/2014/10/mike-downes-in-current-addo-2014.html

Review on All About Jazz: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/in-the-current-mike-downes-addo-records-review-by-jack-bowers.php

DETAILS
Mike Downes - Ripple Effect (Addo Records) -

Mike Downes - Ripple Effect (Addo Records)

2014 JUNO AWARD WINNER for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year!

 

The music explores original compositions, eastern-European themes, and jazz standards in an intimate and melodic setting.

Robi Botos - piano, Mike Downes - bass, Ethan Ardelli - drums and special guest Ted Quinlan.

 

 

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“Profoundly lyrical bass work" Stuart Broomer, The Whole Note (read The Whole Note review)

"Ripple Effect is a beautifully layered textural conversation with a trio performing as one harmonic train of thought... The technique and interplay between Downes and pianist Robi Botos is remarkable as their own lyrical visions become intertwined within each piece." Brent Black, Bop-N-Jazz (read Bop-N-Jazz review)

First Listen on JazzFM91 

DETAILS
Mike Downes - The Winds of Change -

Mike Downes - The Winds of Change

The Winds of Change features masterful playing from three of Canada’s finest jazz musicians. The trio offers powerful interpretations of original and traditional compositions, including the hauntingly lovely Golden Earrings. From the opening notes of the lead track Gemini, you’ll experience the depth of the trio’s music, speaking deeply and intimately to the listener.

Dave Restivo - piano, Mike Downes - bass, Ted Warren - drums

 


 

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“These three are a formidable trio under any circumstances." Chris Smith, Winnipeg Free Press

“Downes’ terrific melodic sense is reflected in his compositions and bass lines. The album is chock full of good examples of this, but perhaps none better than his solo on Sunrise.” Chris Kosky, International Society of Bassists

“Given the variety, the versatility, the virtuosity featured here, if you listen to it you'll agree there is also a total effect.” Stanley Fefferman, The Live Music Report

"One of the best CDs of 2004." JazzFM91

DETAILS
Mike Downes - Then -

Mike Downes - Then

After finishing a week-long engagement at the Montreal Bistro jazz club in 1997, Mike’s quartet embarked on a tour through western Canada. The quartet had already developed a deep musical rapport as evidenced in the 1995 recording Forces. This music was recorded in Winnipeg’s CBC studio in the middle of the tour. The recording captures the brilliance and energy of the quartet in full force.

 Phil Dwyer - tenor saxophone, Dave Restivo - piano, Mike Downes - bass and Ted Warren - drums.

 

 

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DETAILS
Mike Downes - Forces -

Mike Downes - Forces

Forces is Mike’s first recording as a leader, featuring four of Canada’s stellar jazz musicians. The CD highlights Mike’s compositional and arranging talents as well as the many reasons he has become one of Canada’s most in-demand bassists. Standout tracks include his stunning arrangement of Alone Together, a virtuosic and lovely solo bass version of When I Fall in Love and the quirky and energetic opening track No Me Lo Diga.

Phil Dwyer - saxophones, Dave Restivo - piano, Mike Downes - bass and Ted Warren- drums.

 


 

BUY ON ITUNES
 

“Bassist Mike Downes is one of Canada’s immensely talented young giants. Forces is a welcome addition to the ever-growing catalogue of superb jazz originating from Canada.” The Jazz Report

“The first time I heard this CD it hit me just right: repeated listenings bore out its inherent musicality. Mike’s time playing is delightfully inventive and his intonation is absolutely impeccable. This is especially evident on all of his solos, where his lines are clear, hip and agile. His technique and intonation are extraordinary on When I Fall In Love. Kim Richmond for Jazz Player

“Toronto bassist Mike Downes achieves a smart balance between style and substance on this, his first CD as a leader. The quartet slides through Downes’s five originals, as well as four standards, like the proverbial knife through butter.” Mark Miller, the Globe and Mail.

“Mike Downes is as strong a player as he is a composer. He grabs attention in the opening bars of his first track with a driving samba, No Me Lo Diga.”

DETAILS
Ron Davis - SymphRonica Upfront - CD

Ron Davis - SymphRonica Upfront

CD

Ron Davis - keyboards, Steve Heathcote - drums, Kevin Barrett - guitars, Mike Downes - basses, Ailne Homzy - violin, Brielle Goheen - violin, Laurence Schaufele - viola, Raphael Weinroth-Browne - cello, Daniela Nardi - vocals (track 8)

DETAILS
John Pittman - Kinship - CD

John Pittman - Kinship

CD

John Pittman - trumpet, Shirantha Beddage - saxophone, Jeff McLeod - piano, Mike Downes - bass, Curtis Nowosad - drums.

DETAILS
Larnell Lewis - In the Moment - CD

Larnell Lewis - In the Moment

CD

Alexis Baro, William Sperandei, Neil Brathwaite, Rob Christian, Courtenay Frazer, Samuel Williams, Joel Chambers, Shaun Martin, Eddie Bullen, Robi Botos, Michael Shand, Dionne Wilson, Rich Brown, Mike Downes, Andrew Stewart, Mark Lettieri, Elmer Ferrer, Marito Marques, Joaquin Nunez Hidalgo, Larnell Lewis

DETAILS
Molly Johnson - Meaning to Tell Ya - CD

Molly Johnson - Meaning to Tell Ya

CD

Produced by Larry Klein, with Molly Johnson - vocals, Davide Direnzo - drums, Justin Abedin - guitars, Robi Botos - keyboards, Mike Downes - bass, Pete Kuzma - B3 Organ, Amy Keys - backing vocals, Bob Sheppard - sax

DETAILS
Robi Botos - Old Soul - CD

Robi Botos - Old Soul

CD

With Larnell Lewis, Seamus Blake, Mike Downes and special guests Cory Henry, Ingrid Jensen and Lionel Loueke

DETAILS
Shirantha Beddage - Momentum - CD

Shirantha Beddage - Momentum

CD

2017 JUNO NOMINEE

Shirantha Beddage - woodwinds & keyboards, David Restivo - piano & Fender Rhodes, Mike Downes & Rich Brown - basses, Mark Kelso & Will Kennedy - drums

DETAILS
Mark Kelso - Musician First, Drummer Second - DVD

Mark Kelso - Musician First, Drummer Second

DVD

Instructional DVD with performances from Collin Barrett, Gregg Lawless, Hilario Duran, Roberto Occhipinti, Mike Downes, Ted Quinlan, Brian Dickinson, Matt Horner, Dave Gray, Gordon Sheard, George Koller, Luanda Jones, Alexis Baro, Shirantha Beddage, Al Kay, Jeff King

DETAILS
Ron Davis - Pocket SymphRonica - CD

Ron Davis - Pocket SymphRonica

CD

Ron Davis - keyboards, Kevin Barrett - guitars, Mike Downes - basses, Roger Travassos - drums, Jessica Deutsch - violin, Ben Plotnick - violin & viola, Aline Homzy - violin, Aleksander Gajic - violin, Anna Atkinson - viola, George Meanwell - cello, Andrew Downing - cello

DETAILS
Daniela Nardi Espresso Manifesto - Canto - (Minerva Road Entertainment)

Daniela Nardi Espresso Manifesto - Canto

(Minerva Road Entertainment)

Daniela Nardi - vocals, piano, Ron Davis - piano, organ, Mike Downes - bass, Roger Travassos - drums, Kevin Barrett - guitars, Gabriele Mirabassi - clarinet, Fabrizio Bosso - trumpet, flugelhorn, Roberto Natulla - flute, Antonio Fresa - keyboards, Pino Tafuto - piano, Robertinho Bastos - percussion, Marco Pacassoni - vibes, marimba, Louis Simao - vocals plus additional guests.

DETAILS
Molly Johnson - Because of Billie - CD

Molly Johnson - Because of Billie

CD

2015 JUNO NOMINEE. Molly Johnson - vocals, Robi Botos - piano, Terry Clarke - drums, Mike Downes - bass/arrangements, Colleen Allen - saxophones, John Johnson - tenor sax, Bryden Baird - trumpet

DETAILS
Jae Chung Quintet - Still Ocean - (Jinn Music)

Jae Chung Quintet - Still Ocean

(Jinn Music)

Jae Chung - guitar, Kirk MacDonald - saxophone, Brian Dickinson - piano, Mike Downes - bass and Ben Ball - drums.

DETAILS
Ron Davis - Symphronica -

Ron Davis - Symphronica

Ron Davis - piano, Mike Downes - bass and Ted Warren drums with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Morris Russell.

DETAILS
Will Fisher - Portage -

Will Fisher - Portage

Including Will Fisher - drums, Jon Challoner - trumpet, Mikko Hilden - guitar, Mike Downes - bass, Nancy Walker and Matt Giffin - piano. 2013 ECMA NOMINEE

DETAILS
Jasna Jovicevic - Invented Reality -

Jasna Jovicevic - Invented Reality

Including Jasna Jovicevic - saxes and woodwinds, Yvette Tollar - vocals, Mike Downes - bass, Robi Botos - piano, Anthony Michelli - drums, Aleksandar Gajic - violin, Parmela Attariwalla - viola, Amy Laing - cello.

DETAILS
Jazz Bar 2007 -

Jazz Bar 2007

Dave Restivo - piano, Ted Warren - drums and Mike Downes - bass (from Winds of Change).

DETAILS
Barry Little - Love and All That -

Barry Little - Love and All That

Including Lorne Lofsky - guitar, Jane Fair - sax, Ben Riley - drums, Mike Downes - bass, Frank Falco - piano, Carol McCartney, Brenda Scott, Bonnie Brett and Pat LaCroix - vocals.

DETAILS
Ian Macgillivray -

Ian Macgillivray

Including Ian Macgillivray - trumpet and vocals, Mark Kelso - drums, Ted Quinlan - guitar, Anthony Panacci - keyboard, Pat LaBarbera - saxes and Russ Little - trombone.

DETAILS
Ron Davis - Subarashii Live -

Ron Davis - Subarashii Live

Ron Davis - piano, Sasha Boychouk- sax & clarinet, Richard Underhill - alto sax, Mike Downes - bass and Ted Warren - drums.

DETAILS
Prairie Fire - Large Jazz Ensemble -

Prairie Fire - Large Jazz Ensemble

Dean McNeill Big Band including Campbell Ryga and Kelly Jefferson - saxes, Hugh Fraser - trombone, Mike Herriot and Brian O’Kane - trumpets, Mike Rud - guitar, etc.

DETAILS
Molly Johnson - Messin' Around (Universal) -

Molly Johnson - Messin' Around (Universal)

2007 JUNO NOMINEE

Including Molly Johnson - vocals, Mike Downes - bass, Colleen Allen - saxophones, Andrew Craig - keyboards, Mark Maclean - drums, Doug Riley - organ, Guido Basso - trumpet, Rob Piltch and Craig Ross - guitars.  

DETAILS
Louise Pitre - Shattered -

Louise Pitre - Shattered

Including Louise Pitre - vocals, Mark Kelso - drums, Rob Piltch and Gordie Sampson - guitars and Gord Sheard - piano.

DETAILS
Ranee Lee - Maple Groove (Justin Time) -

Ranee Lee - Maple Groove (Justin Time)

2004 JUNO NOMINEE

Including Ranee Lee- vocals, Richard Ring - guitar, Brian Dickinson - piano, Ron Dilauro - trumpet, Richard Beaudet - saxophones, Mike Downes - bass, Dave Laing - drums.

DETAILS
Janice Finlay - She's Hip -

Janice Finlay - She's Hip

Janice Finlay - saxes, Hugh Fraser - piano and trombone, Mike Herriot - trumpet, Kelly Marques - drums, Ron Holldarson - guitar, Larry Roy - guitar, Christian Dugas - percussion and Mike Downes - bass.

DETAILS
Molly Johnson - Another Day (EMI) -

Molly Johnson - Another Day (EMI)

2003 JUNO NOMINEE

Molly Johnson - vocals, Mike Downes - bass, Colleen Allen - saxophones, Andrew Craig - keyboards and Mark Maclean - drums.  

DETAILS
NMV's Jazz Message -

NMV's Jazz Message

Including Norman Marshall Villeneuve - drums, Ken Fornetran - alto sax, Dave Restivo - piano, Joe Allen - trumpet, Grant Stewart - tenor sax and Mike Downes - bass.

 

DETAILS
Brian Lillos - Rezidential School Blues -

Brian Lillos - Rezidential School Blues

Brian Lillos - alto sax, Brian Dickinson - piano, Mike Downes - bass, Ted Warren - drums, Doug Riley - organ, Don Thompson - piano and Terry Clarke - drums.

DETAILS
Ranee Lee - Dark Divas (Justin Time) -

Ranee Lee - Dark Divas (Justin Time)

2001 JUNO NOMINEE

Ranee Lee - vocals, Richard Ring - guitar, Dave Laing - drums, Tilden Webb - piano, Richard Beaudet - saxophones, Ron Dilauro - trumpet and Muhammad Abdul Al-Khabyyr - trombone and Mike Downes - bass.

DETAILS
From the Heart - A Tribute to Oscar Peterson -

From the Heart - A Tribute to Oscar Peterson

With the Dave Restivo trio (Dave Restivo - piano, Daniel Barnes - drums, Mike Downes - bass) and the Mark Eisenman trio (Mark Eisenman - piano, John Sumner - drums and Mike Downes - bass).

DETAILS
Claire Rodger - Old Moon, New Love -

Claire Rodger - Old Moon, New Love

Claire Rodger - vocals, Mike Downes - bass, David Restivo - piano, Daniel Barnes - drums, Reg Schwagger - guitar, Don Thompson - piano, Guido Basso - trumpet & flugelhorn.

DETAILS
Vikrama - Experience -

Vikrama - Experience

Kenny Rampton - trumpet, Mike Allen - saxes, Mike Downes - bass, John Rudel - percussion, Ted Warren - drums and Knut Haugsoen - piano.

DETAILS
Trisha Pope - T -

Trisha Pope - T

Trisha Pope - vocals, Mike Downes - bass, Stephen Amirault - piano, Mike Pinsonneault - saxes and Dave Laing - drums.

DETAILS
Jacek Kochan - Visitor (Unity Records) -

Jacek Kochan - Visitor (Unity Records)

Jacek Kochan - drums, Pat LaBarbera - tenor sax, Jean-Pierre Zanella - alto sax, George McFetridge - piano and Mike Downes - bass.

                                   

DETAILS
Vikrama - Hands On -

Vikrama - Hands On

Including Guillermo Acevedo - percussion, John Macleod - trumpet, Mike Allen - saxes, Mike Downes- bass, Larry Roy - guitar, Ted Warren - drums and Knut Haugsoen - piano.

           

DETAILS

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Latest news

The Juno Awards took place in Vancouver in late March, 2018. It was a thrill to have Root Structure recognized as Jazz Album of the Year:Solo. It features Robi Botos - keyboards, Ted Quinlan - guitars, Larnell Lewis - drums and me on bass. It was beautifully recorded by engineer Steve Bellamy.

2014 JUNO WINNER

 

Ripple Effect, winner of the Traditional Jazz Album of the Year Juno Award in 2014, is available on itunes and at cdbaby.com!

Mike Downes - bass, Robo Botos - piano, Ethan Ardelli - drums and special guest Ted Quinlan - guitar.

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