Search Manic Mark's Blog

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fiesta For Pipe Organ - Alfredo Mendez

Sway (sample)

Fiesta For Pipe Organ
Alfredo Mendez
RCA Victor LPM-1444

The last type of "Latin" album I expected to run across was one featuring the pipe organ. But here you have it! I'm a big fan of Korla Pandit, who played the organ in more of a "percussion style". Few artists, that I know of, played this way. I might have expected to hear "Latin" like this from him.  In fact, Pandit covered one tune on this album, Espana Cana.

There is slim mention of Mendez online. He played on a Three Suns album, The Things I Love In Hi-Fi. There is very little to go on. Jacket notes indicate that he was "friends" with Ernesto Lecuona, a noted Cuban composer who helped "develop Mendez' feelings for tropical music".

There is also one interesting note about the Mendez writing a concerto for the pipe organ and the sounds of space and motion. "Unique? Imagine if you will, a pipe organ accompanied by vacuum cleaners, blenders, air conditioners, and other appliances!"

Hmmm... I wonder if there was a recording made of that piece of music?!!

The sample, Sway, is a much recorded tune written by Pablo Beltran Ruiz and made famous by Dean Martin in 1954.

Info about downloads and my blog.


  1. I LOVE This! Very Pandit in feel. Fabulous! REALLY great cover, too!

  2. I have been searching for a complete copy of that LP for a long it was never releasded in the UK. You are correct about the 3 Suns connection. The organ is believed to be the WurliTzer that used to be in the Recording Studio at Radio City Music Hall...not the instrument in the theatre.

  3. Mark,

    I LOVE the Alfredo Mendez clip and your commentary. I have a vinyl copy of this album in my library. As a kid I would listen to it for hours! I have not been able to find it available as a CD. I would love to get a hold of a copy to add to my itunes library. My other favorite is Leon Berry, who is also percussion heavy on the theater organ and wonderful nonetheless.

    David M

  4. Thanks for the kind comment David. I'll see what I can do in this case.


Howdy! Thanks for leaving your thoughts!