All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Vince Mendoza: Epiphany


Sign in to view read count
Vince Mendoza is a highly creative and cerebral composer and arranger. Epiphany represents perhaps his most ambitious work to date, a full symphonic program with jazz soloists. The program works the classical to jazz spectrum thoroughly, although most of the emphasis is on modern classical; the suite never quite lets loose on a full jazz romp. The moods range from soft and introspective to medium and mellow; there are no loud or fast passages. The opening movement is entirely soft classical. "Wheaten Sky" continues in this vein, gradually yielding to solos by trumpeter Wheeler and guitarist Abercrombie. "Esperanca" swings farther towards the jazz realm, with solos by Brecker, Taylor, and Abercrombie again. The orchestra offers lush support behind the soloists as well as interesting interludes. Lovano and the strings softly caress the gentle melody of "Ambivalence," leading into a solo section with Lovano offering a series of progressively intricate bursts, like a series of fleeting thoughts, over an understated piano vamp and a bed of strings. "Sanctus" features mellow trumpet by Wheeler, followed similarly by Taylor's piano on the title cut. "Barcelona" presents a more jazz-oriented context for Brecker, Abercrombie, and Wheeler. Abercrombie attempts some edgier guitar, but it's still somewhat restrained by the orchestral context. Similarly, Brecker and Wheeler engage in a spirited exchange to the extent the surroundings allow. The closer provides a gentle sax-over-orchestra cushion to lay the suite to rest.

Overall, it's an interesting, enjoyable listening experience. It's an impressive composition and it's executed flawlessly. It's recommended for those who enjoy the classical-meets-jazz genre, but those who are looking for a deeper jazz experience will probably be left a little hungry. (Zebra Acoustic ZA 44407)

Tracks:Impromptu; Wheaten Sky; Esperanca; Ambivilence; Sanctus; Epiphany; Barcelona; Deep Song. (time)


Vince Mendoza - composer, arranger, producer; John Abercrombie - guitar; Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano - tenor sax; Peter Erskine - drums; Marc Johnson - bass;  John Taylor - piano; Kenny Wheeler - trumpet and flugelhorn;   London Symphony Orchestra.

Title: Epiphany | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Zebra Records


comments powered by Disqus

Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles


Sunnyside Records

Nights On Earth

Nights On Earth




Michael Watts Production



Zebra Records


Related Articles

Read The Questions CD/LP/Track Review
The Questions
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Meerkat Parade CD/LP/Track Review
Meerkat Parade
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 20, 2018
Read The Poetry of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review
The Poetry of Jazz
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 20, 2018
Read The Unknowable CD/LP/Track Review
The Unknowable
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Like A Radio CD/LP/Track Review
Like A Radio
by Doug Collette
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Live In Healdsburg CD/LP/Track Review
Live In Healdsburg
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 19, 2018
Read "Contra la indecision" CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 10, 2018
Read "Sticks and Stones" CD/LP/Track Review Sticks and Stones
by John Kelman
Published: February 3, 2018
Read "First Gathering" CD/LP/Track Review First Gathering
by John Sharpe
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Story Tellers" CD/LP/Track Review Story Tellers
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "Happy Song" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Song
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 5, 2017
Read "Trio / Chinese Jesus" CD/LP/Track Review Trio / Chinese Jesus
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 26, 2017