Amazon.com Widgets

Vince Mendoza: Epiphany

By Published: | 2,863 views
No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Vince Mendoza is a 37-year-old American composer and arranger well regarded for his work in both classical and jazz fields. In the latter genre, Mendoza has composed and arranged for Peter Erskine ( Transition ), the Yellowjackets ( Greenhouse ), Kyle Eastwood ( From There To Here ), and dozens of other artists.

Mendoza's two worlds meet on Epiphany, a lush eight-piece collection that features the London Symphony Orchestra and seven renowned jazz soloists: Michael Brecker and Joe Lovano (tenor saxophones), Kenny Wheeler (trumpet), John Abercrombie (guitar), John Taylor (piano), Marc Johnson (bass), and Peter Erskine (drums).

Mendoza obviously spent a great deal of time working out the arrangements on Epiphany. His compositions are delicate yet involved, chilling in spots, gorgeous in others. Epiphany won't be everyone's cup of tea, however. The music is overwhelmingly mellow and occasionally abstruse. Plus, there's no track here that's as instantly stirring as the song "Angelicus" from Mendoza's 1990 release Start Here.

Recorded at Abbey Road studios in London, Epiphany is like a soundtrack in search of a movie, but it's a very good soundtrack. This CD is by turns sentimental, peaceful and plaintive. Many of the tunes have an allusive airy quality. They're equally suitable for contemplative background music or serious listening over headphones. The jazziest track is probably "Esperanca," a bop composition featuring Brecker and Erskine. Also notable are "Ambivalence," a thoughtful, spacious piece featuring Lovano, and Barcelona, a soaring, multihued track with solos by Abercrombie, Wheeler and Brecker.

Epiphany is a cinematic effort from a very serious composer whose influences include Gil Evans, Ravel, Aaron Copland and Weather Report. As intricate as it is, I only recommend Epiphany to people who dig modern jazz and classical in equal measure.

Rating ***1/2 (out of ****)

Record Label: Zebra Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


comments powered by Disqus
Search
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Bandzoogle: GET STARTED TODAY - FREE TRIAL

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

Article Search