Jonny Mansfield | Elftet
Jonny Mansfield, winner of the Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize 2018, vibraphonist and composer, follows previous winners Rob Luft, Misha Mullo-Abbado and Tom Barford as part of a new generation of vibrant musicians emerging from the UK. His debut album, Elftet shines a bright light on his talents as an instrumentalist, composer and orchestrator, and celebrates the close musical bond he shares with his fellow musicians.
Worldwide Release: 21st June 2019
Format: LP, CD & Digital
CD Cat # – EDN1130
CD Barcode – 5060509790579
“The musicians involved in the album were the biggest influence on me while writing this music. Having said that, I can’t overlook Ellington, Joni Mitchell, Maria Schneider, Shirley Horn, Marcus Gilmore, Chris Potter, Norah Jones, Camila Meza and Kenny Wheeler for their continued inspiration. I will return to their music again and again.”
JONNY MANSFIELD – Vibraphone & Composition
Ella Hohnen-Ford – Vocals & Flute
James Davison – Trumpet & Flugel
Tom Smith – Alto, Tenor Sax & Flute
George Millard – Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet & Flute
Rory Ingham – Trombone
Dominic Ingham – Violin
Laura Armstrong – Cello
Oliver Mason – Guitar
Will Harris – Double Bass & Electric Bass
Boz Martin-Jones – Drums
Chris Potter – Tenor Sax (track 2)
Gareth Lockrane – Flute (track 4)
Kit Downes – Hammond Organ (track 9)
1 Sailing 8.14
2 M&M 8.58
3 Falling 2.57
4 T&C’s 5.21
5 Mr Boz 1.04
6 Silhouette 7.14
7 For You 7.16
8 Flying Kites 7.42
9 Sweet Potato 7.28
TOTAL TIME 54.54
Elftet is the startling debut album from Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize 2018 winner Jonny Mansfield. It’s an album that celebrates his musical journey, bringing together his favourite musicians and featuring teachers and mentors as well as superstar guests including the great Chris Potter! Based around the core of an 11-piece band, Elftet immediately demonstrates a distinctive talent for colour, dynamic and shape and echoes the influences of Duke Ellington and Maria Schneider (who says of the album: ‘I listened and enjoyed it very much! Great playing as well’) as well as Kenny Wheeler himself.
As Jonny explains, winning the Kenny Wheeler prize presents an incredible opportunity to showcase the music he is most passionate about:
The musicians involved in the album were the biggest influence on me while writing this music. Having said that, I can’t overlook Ellington, Joni Mitchell, Maria Schneider, Shirley Horn, Marcus Gilmore, Chris Potter, Norah Jones, Camila Meza and Kenny Wheeler for their continued inspiration. I will return to their music again and again.
Elftet for Jonny is more than just a band:
For me, making music is about bringing people together to celebrate. Whether that is culture, family, friends, opportunities etc. Elftet is a celebration, bringing together ten of my closest friends to make music (largely dedicated to other people) and feature amazing teachers/mentors that I’ve been so fortunate to learn from. Writing for large ensemble is like mixing paints as a kid, the amount of colours you can create are endless. With Elftet, I try to write to everyone’s strengths and allow space for everyone to bring their own ideas, that’s where the fun really starts.
In general, the whole album is a celebration of the closest people in my life, both musically and socially. I tried to compose music using imagery and memories, creating cinematic short stories, with my friends and family as the main characters.
Each track on Elftet has a story – Jonny provides the lowdown on the inspiration and background to the music on the album:
Sailing is about the importance of the arts. How they can further our understanding of the unknown and prompt meaningful thoughts and discussions. It features a beautiful trombone solo from Rory. Rory and Dom have been my closest musician collaborators for many years and it’s so fun to write for them within Elftet.
M&M was written for Laura’s Mum and Auntie – Maggie and Moira. It’s about the time we have spent together in Lessac. It was written for Chris Potter after I played with him as part of the Band on the Wall ICE project. He is extremely generous and has so much knowledge and experience to share, so that’s what the tune is about – being generous and sharing knowledge and experiences. I’m delighted and so grateful that Chris agreed to play on the track.
Falling is a lullaby written for Ella Hohnen-Ford. She’s one of my closest friends and someone I’ve learnt so much from; musically and socially.
T&C’s Apply was written for my two brothers Tim and Chris. It’s quite a frantic tune that features a flute quartet at points, something I was very excited about. I was equally excited to write it for flute wizard – Gareth Lockrane, who brought exactly the right vibe to the tune immediately. Gareth has helped me with the compositions and my playing over the years so it meant a lot to me for him to feature on a tune.
Mr. Boz is a drum interlude written for Boz Martin-Jones, one of my closest mates and favourite musician. Boz brings so much space and understanding to every situation so it was really nice to write something for him to explore and interact with in this way.
Silhouette was the first composition for Elftet, it is a simple tune that has evolved and moved away from what’s written on the page and enables us to take risks. This is something we’ve really strived for in the band collectively, which is not easy with eleven of us but I think its something that we’ve started to accomplish. I’m really glad we could get some of that feeling onto the album.
For You is a song I wrote for Laura Armstrong. She brings such a generous, strong, uplifting vibe to every situation, musically and socially. I tried to reflect this in the composition. I hope that this tune can be a song that anyone can listen to and feel that it was written for them.
Flying Kites was written for my Dad, who’s always been so dedicated and insightful. It features the rhythm section of Elftet, especially Will Harris, who is also very dedicated and insightful. He has helped me develop the music further on and off the stage.
Sweet Potato was written for my Mum and is about her allotment at home in Shepley. It features the incredible Kit Downes on Hammond Organ. Kit is someone I’ve looked unto for a very long time and I’m so happy that he featured on the album. He has helped many younger musicians in the UK scene and is honest and encouraging.