From 1950 to 1975, Méndez was a full time soloist, performing as many as 125 concerts per year. He was also very active as a recording artist, with many of his recordings now available on compact disc.
Méndez was legendary for his tone, range, technique and unparalleled double tonguing. His playing was characterized by a brilliant tone, wide vibrato and clean, rapid articulation. His repertoire was a mixture of classical, popular, jazz, and Mexican folk music. He contributed many arrangements and original compositions to the trumpet repertoire. His Scherzo in D minor is often heard in recitals, and has been recorded by David Hickman. He is considered by many people to be the world's best trumpet/cornet player and is even known as the "Heifetz of the Trumpet."