174

Ray Vega: Boperation

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Ray Vega: Boperation On Boperation, his second release for Concord Picante, Ray Vega pays homage to the pantheon of legendary bop trumpeters from Diz to Brownie, Fats to Miles — and does so with an invigorating Latin twist. In most cases, the songs chosen were not only played by the trumpeters in question but written by them as well. The exceptions are Benny Golson’s “Whisper Not” (for Art Farmer), Gigi Gryce’s “Social Call” (for Donald Byrd) and the standard “Tangerine” (for Chet Baker who, unlike the others, seldom wrote anything). Vega doesn’t try to imitate anyone, which would be pointless and also unnecessary, as he’s a superb bop–based player in his own right. This is a high–energy session that embraces the insuperable spirit of these Jazz pioneers, and Vega’s synchronous sextet cooks with gusto throughout. While emphatic rhythms predominate, melody and lyricism are never undervalued, and the music is aesthetically pleasing. Guests Steve Khan (guitars) and Joe Locke (vibes) raise their amiable voices on “Whisper Not” and Eddie Henderson’s “Dark Shadows,” with Khan sitting in again on Freddie Hubbard’s “Hub–Tones” and Lee Morgan’s “Mr. Kenyatta,” Locke on Woody Shaw’s “Stepping Stone.” Dizzy is represented by “Birks’ Works,” Miles by a medley of “Blue in Green” and “Four,” Clifford Brown by “Daahoud,” Kenny Dorham by “Lotus Blossom,” Fats Navarro and Howard McGhee by “Boperation.” Vega chooses trumpet all the way except for “Whisper Not,” on which he nods to Art Farmer by playing flugelhorn (Art, as many Jazz fans are aware, played a hybrid designed for him that he called a “flumpet”). While Vega is the principal soloist, saxophonist Roger Byam and pianist Igor Atalita also receive some space (as do Khan and Locke), and none of it is wasted. One unforeseen benefit of the album is that it reminds us what talented composers most of these trumpet virtuosos also were; these are wonderful songs, splendidly performed by Vega and his colleagues. They’re worth hearing, as is Boperation.

Track listing: Hub–Tones; Lotus Blossom; Boperation; Birks’ Works; Dark Shadows; Daahoud; Blue in Green / Four; Stepping Stone; Tangerine; Whisper Not; Social Call; Mr. Kenyatta (64:16).


Personnel:

Ray Vega, trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion; Roger Byam, tenor, alto, soprano sax; Igor Atalita, piano; Bernie Mi

Title: Boperation | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Concord Music Group


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Sonder CD/LP/Track Review Sonder
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Putting Off Death CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Janus" CD/LP/Track Review Janus
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "First Man" CD/LP/Track Review First Man
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "Verisimilitude" CD/LP/Track Review Verisimilitude
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 1, 2017
Read "Forgiveness Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Forgiveness Suite
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Is It Me...?" CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Rotterdam 1969" CD/LP/Track Review Rotterdam 1969
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 11, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.