140

Ray Vega: Boperation

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
On Boperation, trumpeter Ray Vega infuses 12 classic bop tunes with a Latin-jazz spin. All of these tunes were made famous by Vega's trumpet heroes, and his new renditions are terrifically rhythmic.

Lead trumpeter in Tito Puente's band for the past six years, the 38-year-old Vega has also worked with Paul Simon, Mongo Santamaria, and Joe Henderson. This native of the South Bronx succinctly explains his musical vision in Concord's press material: "I came up in the tradition of the great salsa bands, so I want to take those elements and put them under the heading of jazz."

Boperation is laden with funky beats and sophisticated improvisations. The solos are cerebrally satisfying, and the beats will hit you where you live.

In Vega's capable hands, Dizzy Gillespie's "Birk's Works" becomes a danceable samba, Clifford Brown's "Dahoud" a pulsing excursion in Cuban-tinged bop, and "Mr. Kenyatta" a swinging Latin joyride featuring Steve Khan on acoustic guitar. Vega also covers tunes written or performed by Miles Davis ("Blue In Green/Four"), Freddie Hubbard ("Hub-Tones"), Kenny Dorham ("Lotus Blossom") Fats Navarro ("Boperation"), Chet Baker ("Tangerine"), and Donald Byrd ("Social Call"), among others.

Another high point is Joe Locke's breakneck turn on vibes on Woody Shaw's fast-paced "Stepping Stone," a tune on which Vega also delivers an intricate performance. Vega also plays soulful flugelhorn on Art Farmer's graceful "Whisper Not."

With Boperation Ray Vega generates a creative and upbeat tribute to his trumpet forebears, while showing off his own considerable talents as a Latin-jazz improviser.

| Record Label: Concord Music Group | Style: Latin/World


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Roy Hargrove Roy Hargrove
trumpet
Freddie Hubbard Freddie Hubbard
trumpet
Stan Getz Stan Getz
sax, tenor
Claudio Roditi Claudio Roditi
trumpet
Lee Morgan Lee Morgan
trumpet
Tom Harrell Tom Harrell
trumpet
Randy Brecker Randy Brecker
trumpet
Clark Terry Clark Terry
trumpet
Cal Tjader Cal Tjader
vibraphone
Arturo Sandoval Arturo Sandoval
trumpet

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Second Stream" CD/LP/Track Review Second Stream
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Hibernation" CD/LP/Track Review Hibernation
by John Eyles
Published: March 14, 2016
Read "Tie the Stone to the Wheel" CD/LP/Track Review Tie the Stone to the Wheel
by John Eyles
Published: April 3, 2016
Read "05:21" CD/LP/Track Review 05:21
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Musings" CD/LP/Track Review Musings
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 2, 2016
Read "Road to Forever" CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!