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by Dan McClenaghan
Tenor saxophonist Carlos Vega is a steeped-in-the-tradition fan of early bebop, displaying his passion for the genre with his nods to alto saxophonist Charlie Parker on Bird's Ticket (2016) and Bird's Up (2017), both on Origin Records. With Art Of The Messenger he shifts his focus to Art Blakey, the drummer who led the Jazz Messengers from 1955 onward for thirty-five years, helping definein the early yearsthe hard bop Blue Note Records approach to jazz. Vega and his ...read more
by Jack Bowers
In case you didn't quite catch the message" subtly embedded in the title of Chicago-based tenor saxophonist Carlos Vega's new recording, Art of the Messenger, here is a brief reminder that it was drummer Art Blakey who formed the Jazz Messengers in the mid-1950s and led the celebrated hard-bop ensemble until his death in 1990. The Messengers' roster of alumni reads like a Who's Who of Jazz Hall of Fame members. With that in mind, Vega assembled ...read more
by Dan McClenaghan
Saxophonist Carlos Vega's band crackles. The sound of A Confluence in Chi-Town," the opener on his Bird's Ticket recording, has an on-the-edge urgency in its distinctive approach to the standard jazz quintet format--bass/drums/keyboard rhythm section and a trumpet and a saxophone--a line up like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie used. Vega, a veteran of trumpter/band leader Doc Severinsen's band, sets up, with that high octane opener, an expectation for high level interaction, brash solo slots for himself on ...read more