Vince Mendoza/WDR: Homecoming – lush, brassy blasts of pure joy
Vince Mendoza/WDR Big Band
Vince Mendoza and the Westdeutschen Rundfunks big band go back a long way and it shows. Widely regarded as one of the finest living arrangers for large jazz ensembles, Mendoza has worked his sublime, textural magic for everyone from Joni Mitchell to Björk, but Homecoming is all his own work, seven newly composed pieces, arranged with the musicians of the WDR in mind.
The mood is upbeat, the grooves are sweet, and the playing from the ensemble is flawless – with notable solos from saxophonist Johan Horlen, guitarist Paul Shigihara and trumpeter John Marhsall – but it’s Mendoza’s horn arrangements – lush, harmonically nuanced blasts of pure joy – that are the real stars of the show. propermusic.com