O.J.'s Trumpet Page Articles and reviews

"Rafael Mendéz on CD"

Summit Records have recently released a box with 12 CD's "Rafael Mendéz (1906 - 1981) The World's Greatest Trumpeter". Decca Records signed Mendéz in 1945 and over the next 20 years, he recorded 12 LP records. Those 12 LP's has now been remastered to this CD-set by Summit Records.

It will be too much to mention all the 12 CD's, but they ranges from soft lyrical playing in duet's with guitarist Laurindo Almeida to a more strong and virtuoso Mendez with Symphony Orchestra. On one CD, "Trumpet Spectacular" he is even playing the Haydn Trumpet Concerto in E-flat. Some of the CD's feature Mendéz with his own compositions like "The Tre-Mendez Polka" - a trio performed by Rafael and his two twin sons, Robert and Ralph. On the CD "Mendéz in Madrid" he plays the well-known "La Virgen de La Macarena" (The Bullfighter's Song).

The Haydn Concerto will sound a bit strange to the trumpeters nowadays, who have listened to Maurice Andre and other's interpretations of this classical piece. But when it comes to Mexican music or bravura pieces like "The Fligh of the Bumble Bee", "Hora Staccato" etc., Rafael Mendéz is at his peak. Rafael had a very personal singing sound in his trumpet and great technique.

In an earlier issue of "Schallstykket" (No. 1 - 1996) another Summit Records CD, "The Legendary Trumpet Virtuosity of Rafael Mendéz" has been addressed. Summit has a web-page where they presents all the CD's and also other Mendéz - items, like a biography and a video. The URL is: http://www.summitrecords.com - you can order it directly from that site (with Visa, MasterCard etc.) or use an email address, sales@summitrecords.com

NOTE (April 2004): see message below

O.J. 1998

NOTE (April 2004)  The package set is no longer available from Summit as the use license expired!

Kip Sullivan
Summit Records