The Fieldtrip boys were back in town on Monday, with their guests Kelly Jefferson on tenor and soprano saxophones, and Jim Head on guitar. Bringing together different generations of McGill alumni, the group played new music by co-composers Pat Reid and Colin Power. I only caught the second set, but every time I see these guys, they've come more into their own as a band. Pat and Colin both have branched out in their writing, with more through-composed tunes, avoiding the head-solo-head format and taking their time with melodic material. I've had the immense pleasure of playing with Pat, Colin and drummer Mark Nelson on many occasions (Mark even subbed in the Indigone CD release), and it's quite remarkable how much those three have achieved a band sound, and how they retain it while still growing as musicians and as a band.
Kelly and Jim found their place in the band sound quite well; while they did have their fair share of "featured soloist" spotlight, neither of them seemed out of place in the sound. Kelly's one of the musicians I grew up around in Toronto, hanging out at The Rex as a kid; his sound has always been big and vocal. He paired well with Colin's alto on the front line. Jim was finishing up his Master's while I was in undergrad, and his melodic concept was always exceedingly inventive. It was great to hear him crunch it up on one of Pat's new tunes, "A Wolf in a Sweater" (dedicated to a certain public figure). They're recording a new album in Toronto this week and then they hit The Rex on the weekend - if you're in Toronto and reading this, go.