There is so much to like here, the arranging certainly, the bags of optimism for sure, huge talent, and sheer creativity are there in great abundance. However, I think it is fair to say that Elftet does not all quite hang together as an album, a whole crowd of ideas maybe needing a bit more space and some canny pruning back.
Award winning vibist Jonny Mansfield however manages to inject a little heat into the chamber jazz-like settings and certainly in the way the horns respond (having a guest like Chris Potter on one track does no harm either) lifts the album to new heights.
As proof that Mansfield is a name for the future Elftet certainly succeeds. But I bet his next album will have a good deal more clarity and not be so intent on packing everything including the kitchen sink in. Caveat aside for now: sit back and prepare yourself for a rollercoaster of a listen. SG. Out now. Full personnel: 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; Jonny Mansfield - Vibraphone & Composition; Will Harris - Double Bass & Electric Bass; Boz Martin-Jones - Drums. Guests; Chris Potter - Tenor Sax (track 2); Gareth Lockrane - Flute (track 4); Kit Downes - Hammond Organ (track 9).