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WDR 3 Jazzfest 2018

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Theater Gütersloh / Bunker Ulmenwall BielefeldGütersloh / Bielefeld February 1-3, 2018 WDR stands for Westdeutscher Rundfunk, which is the public radio organization of the German federal state of North Rhine Westphalia based in Cologne, the jazz capital of the federal state. WDR 3 refers to the third program-line nowadays also indicated as Kulturradio (cultural broadcasting). Essence I experienced a remarkable coherency of a surprisingly rich and vivid regional radio landscape and a sympathizing audience ...


Vince Mendoza: Start Here

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Vince Mendoza Start Here World Pacific1990 In the fall of 1990, I was visiting Amsterdam for four days between business engagements in other European countries and, as usual, the first order of the day was to scope out a good music store. Luckily, there was one within walking distance of the hotel, and amongst the goodies I bought that day was Vince Mendoza's second recording as a leader, first to be released outside of Japan ...


Vince Mendoza: Nights on Earth

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It's been 13 years since Vince Mendoza last released an album of all-original music with Epiphany (Zebra, 1999); but it's not as if he hasn't been busy. He's a first-call arranger for high profile jazzers, working on guitarist John Scofield's 54 (EmArcy, 2010), now-deceased keyboard giant Joe Zawinul's Brown Street (Heads Up, 2007), and über-trumpeter Randy Brecker's Some Skunk Funk (Telarc, 2006). He's lived in the pop world with Björk, Elvis Costello and Joni Mitchell, and participated in concept projects ...


Metropole Orkest / John Scofield / Vince Mendoza: 54

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Metropole Orkest / John Scofield / Vince Mendoza 54 Emarcy 2010 Guitarist John Scofield's shared history with Vince Mendoza dates back to the composer/arranger/conductor's Start Here (World Pacific, 1990) and Instructions Inside (EMI/Manhattan, 1991)--two criminally out of print gems that provided early evidence of Mendoza's distinctive harmonic language, compositional perspicacity and innate ability to get the best out of an ensemble, regardless of the size. Now an in-demand, Grammy Award- winning producer/arranger who has worked ...


Vince Mendoza / The Metropole Orchestra: El Viento: The Garcia Lorca Project

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After nearly a ten-year break, composer/arranger/conductor Vince Mendoza returned with the Grammy-nominated Blauklang (ACT, 2008). As if intuiting that another decade-long gap would be excessive, he's back a year later with El Viento: The García Lorca Project--this time focusing primarily on conducting a group of guests alongside Holland's Metropole Orchestra, for whom he's been chief conductor and artistic leader. Much in the spirit of his earlier Jazzpaña (ACT, 1993), El Viento explores the marriage of Spanish music--in particular, flamenco--with jazz, ...


Vince Mendoza: Blauklang

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For jazz aficionados, composer/arranger Vince Mendoza's artisanship is a well-known entity. However, he's also enamored the works of pop-rock stars of note, including Joni Mitchell, Elvis Costello and Sheryl Crow. Mendoza is a master-craftsman who possesses a keen ear to complement his vivid imaginative powers, characteristics that are fastidiously transmitted throughout this rather wondrous 2008 release.

The English translation for the German album title is "blue sound," and emanates from a painting by German artist Ernst ...


Vince Mendoza: Blauklang

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It's been nearly a decade since composer/arranger Vince Mendoza released the sweepingly orchestral Epiphany (Zebra, 1999), but he's been anything but inactive. The arranger/orchestrator of choice for artists including quirky popstress Bjork and her hit album Vespertine (Elektra, 2001), and Joni Mitchell--reinventing the iconic singer/songwriter's vast songbook on Both Sides Now (Reprise, 2000) and Travelogue (Nonesuch, 2002)--he's remained a vital part of the jazz sphere with his vivid big band arrangements for trumpeter Randy Brecker's Some Skunk Funk (Telarc, 2006) ...


Vince Mendoza: Color, Counterpoint and Open Ears

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If Vince Mendoza were only known as a composer, he'd still be worth interviewing; his songs have been covered by Pat Metheny, Michael Brecker, Kurt Elling, Charlie Haden and John Abercrombie. He'd be fascinating to talk to if he were only known as a recording bandleader--his early records Start Here (Blue Note, 1990) and Instructions Inside (Blue Note, 1991), his big band CD Sketches (ACT, 1994) and his orchestral recording Epiphany (Zebra, 1999) are all jazz classics that stand up ...


Vince Mendoza/London Symphony Orchestra: Epiphany

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In and out of print since its initial release in '99, composer/arranger Vince Mendoza's Epiphany represents one of the finest examples of orchestration in a jazz setting. While there have been other fine examples of large-scale blending, they have often simply retrofitted existing material, as was the case with last year's Promises Kept , where pianist Steve Kuhn's compositions were lushly interpreted by arranger Carlos Franzetti.

Mendoza is a composer in his own right who may not be known to ...


Vince Mendoza: Epiphany

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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 ...