Jon Menges – Spirit of 3, Spirit of 4 (ENG review)

Street date July 28th 2023
Jon Menges – Spirit of 3, Spirit of 4 (FR review)

Jon Menges is a New York-based trumpeter, composer, and arranger who has revitalized Latin jazz standards or rather offered his own vision through re-compositions. For many years, it was the audience in Chicago who had the opportunity to appreciate his work. Jon has played with great artists such as Cab Calloway, Lou Rawls, Neil Sadaka, Leslie Uggams, Joel Gray, Jim Nabors, Freddie Cole, and Jon Faddis. In addition to traveling around the world to perform on cruise ship shows, Jon has also toured across the country with the orchestras of Russ Morgan and Guy Lombardo. Jon also went on a U.S. tour with the Broadway musical Copacabana. Today, Jon resides and works as an independent musician in the New York area while teaching music in Connecticut.
Now, let’s talk about his extraordinary new album. It encompasses an almost ethnic aspect, with a rootsy touch to the trumpet accompanied by lush orchestrations. One is pleasantly surprised by his style and carried away throughout the album, like landscapes passing by the window of a train on a beautiful summer afternoon.
Through Jon Menges’ musical vision, there is a genuine desire to tell a story. His trumpet takes center stage within the musical arrangements. Jon conveys stories, engages in dialogues, and sings with his magical trumpet, taking us into his universe without making any compromises, addressing his audience on a profound level.
It is a remarkable work that deserves attention, reflection, and questioning. The album features the following artists:
Tracks 1-6: Jon Menges – Trumpet, Flugelhorn/ Pete McCann – Guitar/ Evan Gregor – Bass.
Tracks 7-12: Jon Menges – Trumpet, Flugelhorn/ Nathan Childers – Tenor and Soprano Saxophones/ Joe Fitzgerald – Bass/ Robert Weiss – Drums.
This timeless music is unafraid to navigate through folklore, blur the lines, and beneath its apparent simplicity, complexity seeps into the arrangements and sonic explorations. Jon, along with his musicians, doesn’t have one style but various musical styles that they blend abundantly throughout the tracks. While one could get lost in it, one also finds joy. The album’s structure allows us to understand the chosen title by Jon Menges; it is not a patchwork of songs but rather different works that converge along an undefined line, like a golden thread.
Take the time to immerse yourself in this album, to feel its complexity in order to fully enjoy it. However, it is perfectly accessible, which is why Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move have included it among their “Essential” selections.

Thierry De Clemensat
Correspondent in USA
Bayou Blue News – Bayou Blue Radio – Paris-Move

PARIS-MOVE, July 13th 2023


To buy this album