As a result of Covid-19 lockdown measures, lives, places of work and entire industries have dramatically changed all over the world. Things that were once deemed unachievable are being proven to be possible - in this case recording a big band record entirely remotely, with every musician in their own separate home. Patchwork Jazz Orchestra has brought together our musicians from all over the UK to remotely record "The Light that Shines" - an EP dedicated to everyone battling this virus on the frontline.
In typical Patchwork fashion, The EP includes works from five different composers within the band. We hear three fresh compositions from Misha Mullov-Abbado, Tom Smith, and Billy Marrows, taking us from a funk odyssey to a trombone-led preaching gospel ballad, and an explosive Brazilian carnival. The EP also features two arrangements: a richly textured and lush rendition of Fred Hersch's "Endless Stars" from Tom Green, and Kieran McLeod's fiery uptempo take on"If I were a bell" from the smash hit musical Guys and Dolls.
The title track of the album was initially a one off release, with a video produced by composer Tom Smith. After the band collectively rose to the challenges faced by such a mammoth task, it became clear that the recording method we had painstakingly developed could be streamlined and repeated to create a record! First, the composer would create a click track which was sent to the rhythm section, who recorded a first draft. This was sent to lead players of each section who would record their track ahead of their colleagues. The soloists on each track would then improvise over these materials, ahead of the rhythm section re-recording their initial takes to allow for sympathetic improvising in the solo sections.
These uncertain times have created a space that is ripe for experimentation and collective growth. Creating a record in unfavourable circumstances has become a true artistic exploration for the whole ensemble. It goes without saying: We are extremely proud to present to you our expression of these times - The Light that Shines!
released May 22, 2020
Track 1 composed by Misha Mullov-Abbado
Track 2 composed by Fred Hersch arranged by Tom Green
Track 3 composed by Frank Loesser arranged by Kieran McLeod
Track 4 composed by Billy Marrows
Track 5 composed by Tom Smith
Recorded by Patchwork Jazz Orchestra - mixed and mastered by John Prestage - all remotely from their homes during lockdown, April 2020
Patchwork Jazz Orchestra: www.patchworkjazzorchestra.com
James Davison, Adam Chatterton, Alex Ridout, Tom Dennis - trumpet
James Copus, George Hogg - trumpet (on "The Light That Shines")
Kieran McLeod, Tom Green, Jamie Pimenta – trombone
Yusuf Narçin - bass trombone
Tom Smith, Sam Glaser - alto saxophone
Sam Miles, George Millard - tenor saxophone
Tom Ridout - baritone saxophone
Liam Dunachie - piano & hammond organ
Billy Marrows - electric guitar
Misha Mullov-Abbado - double bass
Scott Chapman – drums
Gareth Lockrane - flute (on "Genmaicha")