200

Vince Mendoza: Epiphany

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
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


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction" CD/LP/Track Review Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "More Serious Business" CD/LP/Track Review More Serious Business
by Jeff Winbush
Published: March 6, 2016
Read "Agartha" CD/LP/Track Review Agartha
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "Happy" CD/LP/Track Review Happy
by Budd Kopman
Published: April 29, 2016
Read "Short Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Short Stories
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Summer Skyshift" CD/LP/Track Review Summer Skyshift
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!