“I love playing music with Lawrence Fields! He’s full of ideas, plays with a beautiful sound and feeling and can swing! He’s always inspired – and that’s where the magic is...” — Joe Lovano
Lawrence Fields, born and bred in St. Louis, has earned a spot at the forefront of young jazz pianists, thanks to his blending of vintage ideals with a contemporary mindset. In 2019, he was selected as the #2 keyboardist in the Rising Star section of Downbeat Magazine’s Critics Poll. Veteran saxophone icon Joe Lovano – with his unerring ear for youthful talent – has become one of the pianist’s biggest fans. Fields is a member of several bands led or co-led by Lovano: his Classic Quartet (originally featuring Lewis Nash and George Mraz in the rhythm section); the Sax Supreme Quartet (with Chris Potter); and his Sound Prints quintet with trumpeter Dave Douglas. The Wall Street Journal praised Fields’ “elegant, probing” solos with Sound Prints, while The New York Times noted that he is “integral to the band’s plunging, changeable style.” A modern-minded bandleader from the younger generation also relies on Fields, as he mans the piano and keyboards for the Christian Scott Group. Referencing his role on acoustic and electric pianos in the trumpeter’s band, NextBop said: “Fields remains a constant lyrical presence on the keys – innovative, expressive, supportive, able to soar like a bird in his solos. He never fails to impress.”
On record, Fields has excelled for Scott on several albums, including co-writing and co-producing 3 songs on the Grammy-nominated The Emancipation Procrastination (Ropeadope, 2017), part of Christian’s Centennial Trio. Fields also held the piano and keyboard chairs on Christian’s Ancestral Recall (2019), Stretch Music (Ropeadope, 2015) and Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah (Concord, 2012). With Lovano and Douglas, the pianist features on Scandal (2018, Greanleaf), selected by The Guardian as their #1 jazz album of 2018, as well as one of Rolling Stone’s top 20 jazz albums of the year. Fields also plays on the live album Sound Prints: Live at Monterey Jazz Festival (Blue Note, 2015). He appears on the album Marsalis Music Honors Alvin Batiste with Branford Marsalis (2007), as well as on drummer Terri Lyne Carrington’s More to Say (a 2009 disc for which he served as a pianist, keyboardist, as composer-producer). Fields also appears on releases by drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts, bassist Yasushi Nakamura, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, and saxophonists Jaleel Shaw and Steve Slagle. The pianist has been a member of the Watts band, as well as that of trumpeter Nicholas Payton. In addition to performing onstage with the likes of Payton, Watts, Marsalis and Carrington, Fields has appeared with star bassist Christian McBride, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis and bassist Robert Hurst, among others.
Fields leads his own trio and quartet, and his music has been featured on WBGO’s The Checkout series.
"Pianist Lawrence Fields balances tradition and invention with an equally strong voice. While right-hand lines sparkled with modernist intent, left-hand counterpoint strode purposefully to the bass, creating tension, climax and intrigue.”
—Mike Hobart, Financial Times
"Lovano's show was one of the best from him that I have seen in recent years. He was positively on fire, with his former Berklee student Lawrence Fields also a revelation on piano. Fields' fingers gliding over the keys with seemingly no effort, he's a brilliant improviser and can swing too.”
—Tim Dickeson, Jazzwise Magazine
“… the pianist Lawrence Fields shimmers like sunlight on the ocean.”
— Chris Pearson, The Times
"… Lawrence Fields — from St. Louis, the band’s only non-Baltimorean — put swing and soul in everything, in and out of solos;"
—Ben Ratliff, New York Times