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Vince Mendoza

One of the most versatile and prolific composer–arranger–conductors of the last three decades, multi-Grammy Award winner Vince Mendoza has written arrangements for a wide variety of pop and jazz artists, from Joni Mitchell, Sting, Melody Gardot, Elvis Costello and Bjork to Joe Zawinul, John Scofield, Charlie Haden, Al Di Meola, Dave Liebman, Michael and Randy Brecker, and Robert Glasper His compositions have appeared on recordings by the likes of saxophonist Michael Brecker, guitarist John Abercrombie, drummer Peter Erskine, trumpeter Sean Jones and singer Kurt Elling. As a leader, Mendoza has released 10 recordings for the Blue Note, ACT, Blue Jackel and Zebra labels, including 1997’s Epiphany (with the London Symphony Orchestra) and 2011’s Nights on Earth, featuring an all-star cast and members of the Metropole Orkest, with which Mendoza has been associated since 1995

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

AVA Trio: Digging the Sand

Read "Digging the Sand" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

In 2017 the AVA Trio released their debut album Music from an Imaginary Land (Tritone Records) and promptly made their mark by earning spots on several year-end polls. That inaugural release was a unique amalgamation of ethnic influences and free improvisation. With the release of Digging the Sand, the group continues to mine the imagination and ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Jaimie Branch, Kris Davis, Kneebody and More New Releases

Read "Jaimie Branch, Kris Davis, Kneebody and More New Releases" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

September! What a month. The summer is over... so are the summer festivals... but that is also the month when record labels start churning out some of their best releases to bring the temperature up in advance of the end-of-year polls and listicles. So here comes an onslaught of heavy-hitters with their new or upcoming releases, ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Vince Mendoza: Renaissance

Vince Mendoza: Renaissance

One of the finest orchestral jazz albums I've heard this year is Vince Mendoza's Constant Renaissance (BCM&D). Recorded with a roughly 100-musician Temple University Studio Orchestra, the album is a Montana-sized canvas. Composer-arranger and conductor Mendoza is a six-time Grammy winner and has written arrangements for leading pop artists, including Joni Mitchell and Elvis Costello. On ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Fred Hersch & the WDR Big Band: Begin Again

Read "Begin Again" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Throughout pianist Fred Hersch's long career, he has mostly worked in trios and other small units, rarely doing much with large ensembles. That makes this session of Hersch featured with Germany's WDR Big Band a special treat. They play a program of the pianist's compositions from various parts of his career, all arranged and conducted by ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2019

Read "Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2019" reviewed by John Kelman

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Various Venues Montréal, Canada June 27 -July 1, 2019 Forty years. Not a lifetime, perhaps, but a remarkably long time for any festival to not only continue to exist but, despite increasing challenges, to thrive. An even greater achievement when it's the Festival International de ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Rick Lawn: The Evolution of Big Band Sounds in America

Read "Rick Lawn: The Evolution of Big Band Sounds in America" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

From the latter part of the Jazz Age through the Swing Era, big bands dominated the jazz scene and a large part of the entertainment industry. After World War II, their fortunes declined, but their music soared to new heights, spurred on by innovative leaders, instrumentalists, and very importantly, the composers/arrangers who worked behind the scenes ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Stefano Travaglini - Massimiliano Coclite: The Long Line

Read "The Long Line" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Italian pianists Stefano Travaglini and Massimiliano Coclite team up for a varied session of original improvisations and those influenced by composers of historical consequence. Both artists are coming from inspiring releases, Travaglini with his solo album Ellipse (Notami Jazz, 2017) and Coclite with his namesake quartet on Strange People (Odardek Records, 2018). These two musicians have ...

Jacopo Ferrazza e il Questionario di Proust

Read "Jacopo Ferrazza e il Questionario di Proust" reviewed by Paolo Peviani

Il tratto principale della mia musica La Sincerità. La qualità che desidero nei musicisti che suonano con me Sono diverse: La sincerità, l'impegno e la puntualità! Come musicista, il momento in cui sono stato più felice Probabilmente quando sono salito sul palco del Blue ...

Fred Hersch & the WDR Big Band: Begin Again

Read "Begin Again" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Pianist Fred Hersch, who needs no introduction to most well-informed jazz enthusiasts, is by and large known as a leader of trios and other small groups. Begin Again displays another side of Hersch's appreciable talents: nine of his handsome compositions, astutely recast by six-time Grammy Award winner Vince Mendoza and impressively performed by Germany's superb WDR ...


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