REVIEWS FOR DEDICATION SUITE
JIM BEARD: Pianist, Producer, Composer, Orchestrator:
Five recording releases as a leader including “Revolutions” with Vince Mendoza and the Metropole Orchestra. Steely Dan, Wayne Shorter, John McGaughlin, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Pat Metheny
“Mike Mechem’s music sounds beautiful.. and it is. I think just about anyone with even half musical ears would be shocked and pleasantly surprised to find out it came from a “drummer”. I hear film score qualities in the very good sense and even some Mendoza/Grolnick(isms) going on. Good smart stuff!”
STEVE ALLEE: Pianist, Composer, Orchestrator, Arranger, Educator:
Buddy Rich, Randy Brecker, David “Fathead” Newman, John Clayton, Rich Perry. Currently leads a big band and is the pianist with the Rufus Reid trio. Teaching at University of Cincinnati and has lectured at many other colleges as well.
“Wow! Your orchestral suite is fantastic! It is the essence of “our world”. It is fresh, creative, and fun. I am just completely blown away by it! It would be the perfect work to be programmed by an orchestra looking to attract new listeners. Your harmonic vocabulary is advanced and well balanced. Listening to the movements went so quickly because the music is distilled down to the pure substance, the “debre” as the Cajun’s say. Congratulations Mike!”
RICHARD McGEE: Conductor, Trombonist, Composer, Arranger, Educator
Chair CSN Fine Arts Department / Orchestra Conductor, Composer, Orchestrator: Associate Conductor of Las Vegas Philharmonic until 2010 and conducted over 200 performances. Founded and currently conducts Nevada Pops, Composed Western Dance for Orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall.
“Dedication Suite by Mike Mechem is a wonderful series of musical excursions, where the listener is cradled in a lush harmonic framework and propelled with gentle yet innovative rhythms. The suite is freshly imaginative in terms of harmony, rhythm, and melodic invention. Each movement is dedicated to one of his personal or musical influences, and while each is different, they all share a certain family resemblance. This similarity is primarily due to the chordal structures, which feature jazz-inspired chord extensions that exhibit the same kind of strength that William Schuman commanded in the bitonal masterpiece George Washington Bridge. While not bitonal itself, Dedication Suite nevertheless uses towering sonorities as a primary focal point. The jazz influence extends to some of the movements’ structures as well, providing opportunities for improvisation in several cases, in addition to both swing and latin jazz influences in the rhythmic writing. Dedication Suite is both clever and introspective,deeply personal and at the same time, fun! It is new music that beckons the listener to embark on one excursion after the other.”
DAVE LOEB: Director of Jazz Studies at UNLV, Musical Director, Pianist:
featured pianist with Las Vegas Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra with: Natalie Cole, Placid Domingo, Garth Brooks, Celine Dion, Quincy Jones, Andrea Bocelli, David Foster.
“Mike Mechem’s wonderful orchestral suite is fresh and invigorating! It embraces a multiplicity of musical genres with harmonic sophistication, cutting edge melodic inventiveness, and ebullient rhythmic material. I give it my highest recommendation for any orchestra to include in their respective jazz and contemporary repertoire! Absolutely brilliant!”
VINCENT FALCONE: Musical Director, Pianist
Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Jack Jones, Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, Andy Williams, Robert Goulet, Jerry Lewis, Al Martino, Eddie Fisher, Connie Francis, Paul Anka.
“Mike Mechem’s orchestral suite includes a compilation of intricate melodic development and deep understanding of orchestral arrangement. The movements are resplendent with beautiful melodies and interesting uses of orchestral voicing. I would recommend this work to any orchestra as the music would please any musician and thrill any audience.”
NATHAN TANOUYE: Trombonist, Composer, Arranger, Educator
Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies UNLV / Composer, Orchestrator, Arranger: Principle trombonist Las Vegas Philharmonic, Leads Las Vegas Jazz Connection 34 piece jazz orchestra, Arranger/Orchestrator for Celine Dion. Recent premier of original orchestral work performed by LV Philharmonic.
“Dedication Suite by Mike Mechem is a wonderfully innovative orchestral suite, full of color and sophistication, yet it is accessible to all. In many ways this work bridges the gap between modern jazz and classical genres, creating something very fresh and enticing. I highly recommend this wonderful work to any orchestra interested in promoting new, innovative, original works!”