All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Ray Vega: Boperation

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
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).


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


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
East-West Trumpet Summit

East-West Trumpet...

Origin Records

Squeeze Squeeze

Squeeze Squeeze

Palmetto Records



Concord Music Group



Concord Music Group


Related Articles

Read This City CD/LP/Track Review
This City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 24, 2018
Read More Songs About Error And Shame CD/LP/Track Review
More Songs About Error And Shame
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2018
Read West Coast Trio CD/LP/Track Review
West Coast Trio
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Sun Embassy CD/LP/Track Review
Sun Embassy
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 24, 2018
Read The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel – Beethoven Revisited Symphonies 1-9 CD/LP/Track Review
The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read "The Future is Female" CD/LP/Track Review The Future is Female
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 23, 2018
Read "Gentle Giants" CD/LP/Track Review Gentle Giants
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 29, 2017
Read "Autres Paysages" CD/LP/Track Review Autres Paysages
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 18, 2018
Read "Together Apart" CD/LP/Track Review Together Apart
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 24, 2017
Read "I'll Tell You Later In December" CD/LP/Track Review I'll Tell You Later In December
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 4, 2017
Read "Ravensburg" CD/LP/Track Review Ravensburg
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 17, 2018