Jethro Tull‘s Ian Anderson contributes vocals and flute to “We Say Thank You,” a new song celebrating the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic by the star-studded jazz-rock collective known as Mandoki Soulmates.
Mandoki Soulmates was founded, and is led, by German-Hungarian musician, producer and songwriter Leslie Mandoki, who has brought together various musicians from around the world for decades to collaborate on interpretations of their own songs and original material.
“We all thank the brave, hardworking front-line medics and care workers around the world,” says Anderson about the new tune. “Leslie managed to put into the lyrics references to the police, grocery clerks, supermarket workers too. I would like to add those essential worker folks who it was impossible to squeeze into a three-minute song. To all, we say, thank you.”
A new EP featuring three versions of the song has just been released, and is available now digitally and via streaming services.
One version is a duet between Anderson and Mandoki. A second version was recorded with a Mandoki Soulmates lineup that included Supertramp saxophonist John Helliwell, award-winning trumpet player Randy Brecker, veteran session drummer Simon Phillips and backing vocals from ex-Toto frontman Bobby Kimball and former Manfred Mann’s Earth Band singer Chris Thompson. A third is an unplugged, acoustic rendition featuring Anderson, Mandoki, Brecker and Helliwell.
Mandoki was inspired to write “We Say Thank You” while in lockdown in Germany, where his wife serves as a doctor and cares for people who contracted COVID-19.
You can check out videos for all three versions of “We Say Thank You,” as well as behind-the scenes clips about the recording of the song, at Mandoki Soulmates’ official YouTube channel.
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