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Mike Downes - Root Structure (Addo Records) - CD

Root Structure is the much-anticipated new 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..." 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)

"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.


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:

Review on All About Jazz:

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.





“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 

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





“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

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.




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.




“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.”

Robi Botos - Old Soul - CD

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

Shirantha Beddage - Momentum - CD


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

Ted's Warren Commission - The Great Regina Pizza Debate - CD

Mike Downes - acoustic & electric basses, Mike Malone - trumpet and Flugelhorn, Ted Quinlan - guitar, Ted Warren - drums

Jens Lindemann & Tommy Banks - Legacy...Live - CD


Jens Lindemann - trumpets, Tommy Banks - piano, Mike Downes - bass, Ted Warren - drums, Kristian Alexandrov - Hammond B3 & percussion

Ben Ball Quartet - 401 Towards London - CD

Ben Ball - drums, Jae Chung - guitar, Bryden Baird - trumpet, Mike Downes - bass

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

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

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.

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

Mark Promane Woodwind Chamber Ensemble - The Canadiana Suite - CD

Mark Promane - flutes, clarinets, saxophones, Ted Quinlan - guitar, Mike Downes - bass, Mark Kelso - drums.

Jae Chung Quintet - Still Ocean - (Jinn Music)

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

Shirantha Beddage - Identity (Addo Records)


Shirantha Beddage - bari sax, Nathan Eklund - trumpet, Mike Downes - bass, Larnell Lewis and Mark Kelso - drums and Dave Restivo - piano.

Molly Johnson - The Molly Johnson Songbook (Universal)

Various musicians with Molly Johnson.

Ron Davis - Symphronica

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

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

Ron Davis - My Mother's Father's Song

Ron Davis - piano, Mike Downes - bass and Ted Warren - drums.

Molly Johnson - Lucky (A440/Universal)


Molly Johnson - vocals, Phil Dwyer - piano and sax, Mark Maclean and Ben Riley - drums and Mike Downes - bass. 

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.

Ted's Warren Commission - Songs for Doug

Ted Warren - drums, Mike Malone - trumpet, Ted Quinlan - guitar, Mike Downes - bass and Doug Riley - piano and organ.

Patrick Boyle - Still No Word

Patrick Boyle - trumpet, Mike Murley - sax, Bill Brennan - piano and Mike Downes - bass.

Jazz Bar 2007

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

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.

Ian Macgillivray

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

Bill Prouten - Low Down, No Good

Bill Prouten - saxes, Robi Botos - piano, Mike Downes - bass and Ted Warren - drums.

Ron Davis - Subarashii Live

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

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.

Molly Johnson - Messin' Around (Universal)


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.  

Pat Lacroix - The Ballad Artistry of Pat Lacroix

Including Guido Basso - trumpet, Frank Falco and Charles Mountford - piano and Reg Schwagger - guitar.

Real Divas II

Louise Pitre - Shattered

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

Ted's Warren Commission - First Time Caller

Ted Warren - drums, Mike Downes - bass, Ted Quinlan - guitar and Mike Malone - trumpet.

Gap Mangione - Stolen Moments (Josh Records)

The Gap Mangione Big Band including Steve Gadd - drums, Gerry Niewood - saxes, Jeff Jarvis - trumpet, Gap Mangione - piano, etc.

Ranee Lee - Maple Groove (Justin Time)


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

Bob Brough - A Decade of Favorites

Including Bob Brough - saxophones, Bob Mclaren - drums, Mike Downes - bass and Mark Zaret - piano.

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.

Molly Johnson - Another Day (EMI)


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

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.


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.

Ranee Lee - Dark Divas (Justin Time)


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.

Earl MacDonald - Schroeder's Tantrum (Radioland Recordings)

Earl MacDonald - piano, Ralph Bowen - saxophones, Kevin Dean- trumpet, Mike Downes - bass and Ted Warren - drums.

Claire Rodger - Clear Out of this World

Claire Rodger - vocals, Mike Downes - bass, Nancy Walker - piano and Ted Warren - drums.

Richard Whiteman Trio - Grooveyard

Richard Whiteman - piano, Mike Downes - bass and John Sumner - drums.

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).

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.

Lorne Lofsky - Bill Please (Jazz Inspiration) - on Jazz Inspiration


Lorne Lofsky - guitar, Mike Downes - bass and Jerry Fuller - drums.  

Richard Whiteman - This is Now

Richard Whiteman - piano, Mike Downes - bass, Perry White - saxes and John Obercian - drums.

Steve Holt - Catwalk (Sackville Records)

Steve Holt - piano, Daniel Barnes - drums, Mike Downes - bass and Kevin Turcotte - trumpet.

Jacek Kochan - Corporate Highlanders (Unity Records)

John Abercrombie - guitar, Jacek Kochan - drums, Brian Dickinson - piano, Mike Downes - bass, Jean-Pierre Zanella and Mike Murley - saxophones.

Roy/Lerner - Quarter to Three (Justin Time)

Larry Roy - guitar, Marilyn Lerner - piano, Stefan Bauer - vibes, Mike Downes - bass and Peter Erskine - drums.

Vikrama - Experience

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

Trisha Pope - T

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

Sean Bray - Another Point of View

Sean Bray - guitar, Pat LaBarbera - saxes, Brian Dickinson - piano, Mike Downes - bass and Mike McClelland - drums.

Jacek Kochan - Visitor (Unity Records)

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


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.