He's an official cultural ambassador of his hometown New Orleans, where he founded and plays in two different celebrated bands. But recently, trumpeter Irvin Mayfield has been spending time a good deal of time in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. He was recently named the first artistic director of jazz for the Minnesota Orchestra, and he spent his New Year's Eve performing in Minneapolis with his sextet for Toast Of The Nation.
- Irvin Mayfield, trumpet
- Leon "Chocolate" Brown, trumpet/vocals
- Vincent Gardner, trombone/vocals
- Ron Markham, piano
- Neal Caine, bass
- Jaz Sawyer, drums
courtesy of the artist
Irvin Mayfield. courtesy of the artist
On a night where the temperature barely crested 0 degrees Fahrenheit, he frequently egged on an already raucous crowd at the Dakota Jazz Club, both with prodigious trumpet technique and zealous entreaties. (There were noisemakers in abundance, though one doubts the audience was actually "butt-nekkid," as Mayfield claimed for the radio.) His group tore through jazz standards and then some, in a style that had a foot in modernized bebop and another in classic down-home New Orleans groove. And there was singing of all sorts. The whole affair seemed designed to urge Mayfield's second home not to forget about its downriver cousin — and judging from its cries, the audience didn't seem like it would for some time.