Release Date: October 6th on Ubuntu Music
Paul Mottram’s latest work, ‘Seven Ages of Man,’ is set to be one of the most ambitious UK jazz or jazz-related album releases this year, featuring acclaimed musicians Tim Garland, Jason Rebello, and Jonny Mansfield.
A Concert Work for Tim Garland
Mottram’s ‘Seven Ages of Man’ came to fruition due to his desire to create a concert work for his old friend and Guildhall School of Music colleague, Tim Garland. He envisioned music where Garland could effortlessly transition between notated and improvised sections.
It was Garland who suggested using a thematic structure, which led to the incorporation of Shakespeare’s ‘Seven Ages of Man’ speech from ‘As You Like It.’ The piece progresses through various stages, reflecting the human experience from infancy to old age.
Expanding on Shakespeare
Though inspired by Shakespeare’s concept, Mottram expanded on it musically by adding two preceding sections, “Origins” and “Gestation.” This allowed for a more abstract and philosophical opening to the album before delving into the “Seven Ages” proper.
The Sextet and Recording Process
In addition to Garland, Rebello, and Mansfield, the album’s recording features Ralph Salmins on drums, Misha Mullov-Abbado on double bass, and Paul Clarvis on percussion. Each musician contributes their unique personality to the record. The strings were recorded at the renowned Abbey Road Studio One.
A Personal and Musical Journey
The album represents the resolution of “unfinished business” for Mottram, fulfilling his desire to compose for his old friend Garland, who reached the pinnacle of the jazz world as a member of Chick Corea’s band for 17 years.
Mottram’s background includes orchestrating for films such as “Chaplin,” “Shirley Valentine,” and “Rain Man,” as well as composing for popular TV shows like “The Great British Bake Off” and “The Crown.” ‘Seven Ages of Man’ reflects his relationship with classical and jazz music and showcases his ability to blend various musical styles without adhering to any particular tradition.
Mottram is currently exploring the idea of a ‘Seven Ages’ concert, potentially incorporating dance or an audio-visual production. While he remains humble about his accomplishments, he is delighted with the outcome of the album and looks forward to sharing his latest creative endeavor with the world.
‘Seven Ages of Man’ will be released by Ubuntu (CD and digital) on October 6th.