6. Love You Madly

I recently did a big band arrangement of Duke Ellington's song Love You Madly. I've always been a big fan of Ella Fitzgerald's version with the Oscar Peterson Trio. It's one of my first attempts at writing a more traditional big band arrangement, I'm planning on trying to do one a month to develop a further understanding of this tradition - 

Vocals - Ellie Bignall
Drums - Luke Tomlinson
Bass- Joe Lee
Piano - Joe Hill
Guitar - Oliver Mason
Soprano/Alto - Sam Glaser
Alto - Xander Bone
Tenor - David Healey
Tenor/Solo - Tom Barford
Baritone - Jonny Ford
Trombones - Rory Ingham
                    - Ed Parr
                    - Harry Maund
                    - James Maund
Trumpets     - George Jefford
                    - Alistair Martin
                    - Luke Vice-Coles
                    - Laurence Wilkins  

 

5. Jam Experiment album 2

I had a great time at Giant Wafer Studios playing with Rory, Dom, Toby and Joe. Really amazing to work with Alex Killpartrick for the first time as well as Matt Williams who were engineering the session. It was really fun and interesting to hone in on the music and find new sounds for the recording. Particularly the use of pedals on the violin, Rhodes and Trombone. I found it more demanding recording drums than recording vibes, trying to keep a consistant energy and focus over the four days was a enjoyable challenge. Listening back to the rough mixes, it already sounds so full with a nice stereo image so I can't wait to hear it mixed and mastered over the next few months.  Stay tuned...

 

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4. Kenny Wheeler Award

I’m over the moon to have been award the Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize from the Royal Academy of Music! Here’s the press release – 

The Royal Academy of Music and Edition Records announce vibraphonist and composer Jonny Mansfield as the 2018 Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize winner

The Royal Academy of Music and Edition Records today announce vibraphonist and composer Jonny Mansfield as the recipient of the 2018 Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize.

The annual prize, now in its eighth year, is awarded to a graduating jazz musician at the Royal Academy of Music who demonstrates excellence in both performance and composition. Mansfield wins an exclusive recording session of a proposed album on the Edition Records label which will be released in 2019.

Mansfield follows in the footsteps of the highly-acclaimed previous winners; saxophonist Josh Arcoleo (2011), trumpeter Reuben Fowler (2012), vocalist Lauren Kinsella (2013), bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado (2014), vibraphonist Ralph Wyld (2015), guitarist Rob Luft (2016), and saxophonist Tom Barford (2017) whose album is released on 31 August 2018.

The judging panel – Dave Stapleton: Edition Records Founder and Producer, Nick Smart: the Academy’s Head of Jazz and Evan Parker: saxophonist and lifelong collaborator of the late Wheeler – met in June to decide the winner.

Me, Dave and Evan - Kenny Award.jpg

 

Evan Parker said: ‘This prize honours the life and work of a musician who was distinguished not simply as a magnificently gifted improvising instrumentalist, but also as a composer and arranger. In awarding the prize to Jonny Mansfield this year we have chosen a young musician who has already shown himself to be remarkably talented in all three disciplines, and seems to have a musical vision beyond his years.’

Edition Records boss Dave Stapleton commented: ‘As the music industry continues to evolve and change at an unprecedented rate, it’s hugely rewarding for us to have an opportunity to help develop and guide these young, talented and vital artists of the future. Jonny Mansfield is a musician of real depth and maturity, both as an instrumentalist and composer. Jonny also has the ability to recognise the wider challenges facing him and approach them with drive and determination to pursue a career in this music. To succeed in the 21st Century music industry requires all-round skill and talent, which Jonny has in abundance.’

Kenny’s son, Mark Wheeler, said: ‘I have enjoyed hearing Jonny a few times at Academy events and also online, and I know my Dad would have loved his playing and his wonderful writing. It’s exciting to see how these young musicians flourish and it remains a source of joy for all the family that Dad’s name and legacy lives on through this fantastic prize.’

 

3. New Elftet Suite

Recently Elftet did two gigs (one at Guildhall School of Music's Basement and Toulouse Lautrec in Kennington), the main objective of the gigs was to play through a new suite called 'The Balmaclellan Suite (Tim Smoth's Big Day Out)'. The suite is roughly 40 minutes long, heres a little clip from the Toulouse gig - 

We'll be playing the suite at my final recital at the 606 Club, Chelsea on the 5th June.

2. Rehearsing new Jam Ex Material

We've started rehearsing new music for Jam Experiment's new album which we are recording at Giant Wafer Studio's in July. It's really exciting having Dom Ingham on board as he brings a new sound and energy to the mix, especially with a variety of pedals. Rory's also pedalled up so we're uncovering a load of new sounds. Here's a little clip of a recent rehearsal. Stay tuned...

1. Mixing

I thought it would be a good idea to write down whats been happening recently, for myself to look back on at some point but also maybe other people will find it interesting, maybe. 

On Sunday 11th Feb, Alex Bonney, Jim Hart and myself met up to finish mixing the Elftet album. We were able to get a mix that we're all happy with and it's sounding great, if I might say so myself! To start with I found it hard to detach myself from the compositions and my playing. Compositionally I learnt a lot in terms of whats audible in the bigger picture and I've been thinking about how to pull ideas out of textures by taking away rather than adding more. Now onto getting it mastered, exciting times. Heres a little video from Sunday -