Stan Sulzmann and Vein release ‘Mon Ami’ (proceeds to Médecins Sans Frontières)

Stan Sulzmann writes in a press release:

Stan Sulzmann (inset) with L-R Florian Arbenz, Michael Arbenz, Thomas Laehns

“Early in 2020 like many colleagues, I found myself left high and dry for creative output as the pandemic took a hold. I took a leap of faith into recording virtually as the only foreseeable option, which was a daunting prospect. “No previous experience” but up for learning.

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“Having played some great UK concerts as a guest with the Swiss trio Vein over a previous couple of years I was so disappointed at the inevitable cancellation of our short tour in UK and Ireland at the end of 2020.

“For quite some time a couple of the young members of my Neon Orchestra , particularly Tom Walsh had broached the idea of a virtual recording of some of my big band music.

“As always young musicians were already finding a way to experiment with this option. So I thought ok maybe I could combine Vein with an ensemble of players from here, and Jim Hart in the Alsace recording virtually. Vein had already issued such a recording ‘ The Chamber Music Effect’ which sounded lovely.

“This collection is the result. Great! A Lockdown Project to work on which involved writing some new compositions and arrangements whilst learning a little about recording virtually without the live interaction we all so love. I’d already heard some excellent large ensemble recordings as in Billy Marrows ‘Genmaicha’ with the Patchwork Orchestra which inspired me to want to get involved in the possibilities and not be beaten by the demoralising circumstances that we all faced. No live Music-making! I set out to make an albums worth of music, culminating in 6 varied pieces:

  • ‘Chu Chu’ (originating from my trio NEON)
  • Between Moons’ (a commission from composer John Taylor from my 65th Birthday tour)
  • ‘Shadow Painting’ from my 70th tour in 2019 ….plus three new pieces
  • ‘Love for Sale’ (the Cole Porter classic) blended with ‘Resolution’ ( John Coltrane) into one long arrangement that was premiered on a Royal Academy socially distanced Big Band online concert, itself another new experience in a great new
    theatre but with no audience.
  • An arrangement of ‘One Day I’ll Fly Away’ ( Joe Sample & Will Jennings from The Crusaders) I just always liked this
    tune sung by Randy Crawford.
  • Finally a brand new composition ‘Mon Ami’ which reflects this project at a time when we were all thinking about our
    friends and personal and musical relationships, not to mention what does the future hold in store for us all!

“I chose one piece ‘Mon Ami’ to be available on YouTube to introduce the project and direct to the download link on Bandcamp for donations to Medecins Sans Frontieres. In addition I decided to make a mobile collage of photos of the contributors, their families and of friends past and present, some sadly no longer with us. I hope people may find this fun and maybe play ‘spot the people and places’ in some of the older pictures. My son Ian kindly put this together for me, and my friend Nick Smart provided the ‘calm’ sea and sunrise movie for the opening and closing as well as several of the photos.

I hope you enjoy this music as much as we enjoyed making it. – Stan Sulzmann”

Note: Legendary British saxophonist Stan Sulzmann has been a hugely influential figure at the forefront of British Jazz for nearly 50 years. In November 2018 he celebrated his 70th Birthday by touring with his acclaimed cross-generational Neon Orchestra. Alongside his famous collaborations with the likes of Kenny Wheeler and John Taylor, Stan has inspired countless members of the new jazz generation. Widely regarded as one of the truly original jazz voices as both composer and improviser, Stan Sulzmann has been at the vanguard of every significant development of the music since the 1960’s.

Personnel / Credits:

Stan Sulzmann – tenor sax
Michael Arbenz – piano
Florian Arbenz – drums
Thomas Laehns – bass

Alex Munk – guitar
Jim Hart – vibraphone
Phil Todd – flute (5)
Trumpets – Tom Walsh, James Copus, George Hogg, Nick Smart
Trombones – Mark Nightingale, Olli Martin, Harry Maund
Saxes – Matt Sulzmann, Sam Glaser, Tom Barford, James Allsopp

Produced by Jim Hart
Mixed and Mastered by Alex Bonney
Executive Producer – Stan Sulzmann
Project Consultant – Elaine Crouch


  1. Love For Sale/Resolution (Cole Porter/John Coltrane)
  2. Mon Ami (Stan Sulzmann)
  3. Shadow Painting (Stan Sulzmann)
  4. Between Moons (John Taylor)
  5. One Day I’ll Fly Away (Joe Sample/Will Jennings)
  6. Chu Chu (Stan Sulzmann)



Medecins sans Frontieres

Stan Sulzmann on Bandcamp


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