Saturday, February 11, 2017

Vince Mendoza & WDR Big Band Cologne- Homecoming (2017)

Homecoming' is composer, arranger and conductor Vince Mendoza's return to his acknowledged first love, jazz. It's also his reunion with the orchestra he feels deeply connected with for already more than two decades, the WDR Big Band. 

A glimpse of the joint discography of Mendoza and the WDR Big Band is enough to call this cooperation an exceptional success story. The album 'Jazzpaña' (ACT, 1992) with Arif Mardin was awarded the German Jazz Award and received two Grammy nominations. The CDs Randy Brecker w/Michael Brecker - 'Some Skunk Funk - Live at Leverkusener Jazztage' (BHM, 2005) and Joe Zawinul - 'Brown Street' (Intuition, 2006) earned him two Grammys. In 2015 the outstanding production Chano Domínguez - 'Soleando' (Jazzline, 2015), set new standards in the fusion of jazz and flamenco.

And now 'Homecoming'. There was only one guideline: All compositions had to be his own. The second condition was set by the artist himself: He wanted to use only newly written pieces - and it goes without saying - they were made to measure for the WDR Big Band. The band appreciated his high level of commitment. There is no hint of this tiring theme/solo/solo/solo/theme-pattern as Vince Mendoza is a true master of the organic form and the musical arc, a master of densely interwoven musical thoughts. The six-to-nine minutes long compositions are complex and intensive without being excessive - on the contrary: the music breathes.

1. Keep It Up 08:36
2. Little Voice 06:46
3. Choros #3 07:51
4. Homecoming 07:30
5. Amazonas 09:23
6. One Times One 08:30
7. Daybreak 07:31