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Mendenhall, Eddie: Cosine Meets Tangent

Musician/composer Eddie Mendenhall is one talented individual and holds a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Composition from the Berklee College Of Music . He is currently a music professor at Monterey Peninsula College and also instructs at the esteemed Monterey Jazz Festival Summer Jazz Camp. He has also spent some time playing the Tokyo jazz scene as well as performing with Ray Brown's Great Big Band. Cosine Meets Tangent is his first album as a band leader and I have to say the first times the charm as this is an excellent album.

Joining the pianist is mark Sherman (vibes), Akira Tana (drums) and John Schifflett (bass). The lead instruments are piano and vibes with each taking turns to shine. They complement each other nicely and both players are able to combine melody with some terrific solos without ever sounding over indulgent. Every note has its place and fits within the context of the song. The album consists of ten songs which are mostly original Mendenhall compositions.

The album gets off to a swinging start with the upbeat "Protocol". An infectious groove augmented with fabulous vibes and piano where the respective musicians are able to show off their chops. In "Spring Waltz" a romantic feel pervades until Schifflett is given room to shine with an excellent bass solo. It's a formidable rhythm section as Tana also gets his turn playing some complicated patterns around Schifflett's steady groove. In "So Easy To Remember" the tone is soft and delicate and in "Lament For The Ocean", a homage to the Gulf oil spill, a melancholic mood pervades as Mendenhall's piano lines gently cascade like ripples on a pond. The mood brightens with the swinging "The Great Triplet" where both piano and vibes take their turn in the spotlight. In the closing title track, an off kilter vibe persists with Mendenhall's piano excursions taking some angular turns while still retaining a great sense of melody.

Cosine Meets Tangent is as finely crafted a jazz album as you are likely to hear. An uplifting and thought provoking listen from the first song to the last. Very impressive indeed…

Track Listing:
1. Protocol (6:54)
2. Spring Waltz (5:38)
3. Rain Hike (6:19)
4. Blues For Yokohama (4:40)
5. So Easy To Remember (5:42)
6. Rin Ki On Hen (5:36)
7. Lament For The Ocean (6:06)
8. The Great Triplet (6:00)
9. Morning Stretch (2:42)
10. Cosine Meets Tangent (4:11)

Added: February 27th 2012
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1633
Language: english

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