Fun Fun – A Night in Montreal – 2008

posted in: News | 0

Fun Fun A Night in Montreal is a live CD we recorded in Montreal at the wonderful old vaudeville theatre “Le Tulipe”. This was the second night of our 2007 tour. I remember this show well, the band was so polite with each other, time for a fill?...no, no, please after you, I insist. Lots of “air” in this show and we like air… it’s the space in between the notes, if you can hear the air that means we’re tight! That night we were tight, we were loose.

Many thanks to my co-producer on this record the wonderful Frank Opolko, who is a great trombone player and producer. Jeff Wolpert mixed this for us. He was in one of his “no reverb” periods…the engineering on the live recording was so tight that he just was basking in the sounds. The mix turned out very separate but very dry. At mastering we put a little verb on the whole mix…not usually done that way but I think it gives the record a real impact. It was broadcast as a show on Canada Live on CBC. John Johnson, Steve McDade, Rob Gusevs, Henry Heillig, Mark Ferguson, Art Avalos, Charlie Cooley, Kelly Jefferson and me. The cover photo was taken by my father George Zimbel, it’s called Fun Fun for obvious reasons.

 

No Net – 1996

posted in: News | 0

This is a live album taken from various performances in 1993 and 1994 in Canada, Europe and the United States. These are board mixes, meaning that they were recorded on the live console by our front of house engineer at the time, the brilliant John Lacina. There is no remixing on this album, as it was played, so it remained.

Band members on No Net
Matt Zimbel, Henry Heillig, John Johnson, Art Avalos, Charlie Cooley, Steve McDade, Mark Ferguson, Phil Dwyer

Onward! – 2007

posted in: News | 0

Recorded in 2006 released in 2007. Our first album after the hiatus. For this record, we had trombone for the first time which was a great thing, as it seemed to lock the rhythm section to the horn section. We also used bass clarinet and alto flute, which changed the Manteca sonic palate substantially. This record was nominated for two Juno Awards, for Best Jazz Album and for Best Engineering… We did not win but you should have seen the gift bags!

Band members on Onward!
Matt Zimbel, Henry Heillig, John Johnson, Aaron Davis, Art Avalos, Charlie Cooley, Steve McDade, Kelly Jefferson, Mark Ferguson

Mark Ferguson: The Bone In The Band

posted in: News | 0

 

Manteca: Mark Ferguson

Have you ever seen a plunger mute? Horn players and plumbers use them and they are, well, just like what they sound like…a toilet plunger. Horn players use them to make their tone crescendo and decrescendo, much like a guitar player might use a wah-wah pedal. Plumbers use them for, well, you know where this is going. The great thing about this instrument accessory is you don’t have to go to a music store to buy it. Our wonderful trombone, keyboard and mallet player Mark Ferguson for some reason forgets his plunger mute frequently. Which is great for us, because we get to go with him to the hardware store and watch him buy another. It’s endlessly entertaining to watch the clerk, when Mark tells him he doesn’t need the stick.

Mark has been with us since 2007 and having the Bone in the band has been a bridge between the horn section and the rhythm section, it makes the band feel sonically more connected. Mark is a powerhouse of a lyrical soloist on both Bone and Piano and on the Twelfth of Never he also plays vibes. Recently Mark has released another solo record, The Next Chapter, which is brilliant and still in the top 20 at my house a year after it’s release… mz

 

manteca-mark-ferguson-the-next-chapter

 

Official Portrait For Onward

posted in: News | 0

 

onward-portrait-by-denise-grant-sm

 

The official portrait for Onward, our 2007 release. Denise Grant who has done many beautiful portraits of us did this one at her studio in Toronto. In the age of photoshop many people thought that the apples were photoshopped in but no – we actually threw them in the air, Denise fired the shutter and most of us caught them. Getting nine people all looking good in a portrait at the same time is not easy, getting all the apples in the air at the same time while they look good is even harder.

Bottom Row: John Johnson, Matt Zimbel, Henry Heillig
Top row: Charlie Cooley, Aaron Davis, Steve McDade, Kelly Jefferson, Mark Ferguson, Art Avalos