136

Ray Vega: Boperation

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Ray Vega’s Latin jazz tribute to bop trumpeters includes dedications to Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Dorham, Fats Navarro, Howard McGhee, Dizzy Gillespie, Eddie Henderson, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, Woody Shaw, Chet Baker, Art Farmer, Donald Byrd, and Lee Morgan. True, he missed a few, but the tune selection – each played with a fresh twist – represents some of the best from these past 50 years. Vega plays forcefully, but without an edge. His articulation is rounded in such a way as to appear legato and lax, while the trumpeter’s tone quality appears stuffy and without brass overtones. Saxophone and trumpet work out in unison quite a bit, but they stray out of tune with each other unnecessarily; particularly when Igor Byam picks up the alto or soprano sax.

Like a slow hot wind or up-tempo dancing a samba, the ensemble’s sound is always colored by the presence of electric bass, congas, and a clear percussive piano. While trumpet and sax provide most of the solo work, the program also includes several spotlights on piano, electric bass, guitar, and vibraphone. Joe Locke’s vibes influence plays a vital role, particularly on the band’s arrangement of Woody Shaw’s "Stepping Stone." While Lee Morgan’s forceful "Mr. Kenyatta" thrills, Vega’s tone simply will not ring out as would be appropriate. Use of the flugelhorn on "Whisper Not" as a tribute to Art Farmer fits precisely, but unfortunately the remainder of Boperation finds Vega’s trumpet in a Latin jazz vein, filled with mushy articulation and a dusky tone quality.


Track Listing: Hub-Tones; Lotus Blossom; Boperation; Birks

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

| Record Label: Concord Music Group | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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 Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Sir Nebula" CD/LP/Track Review Sir Nebula
by Doug Collette
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "When You Wish Upon a Star" CD/LP/Track Review When You Wish Upon a Star
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 19, 2016
Read "Red Nation "1"" CD/LP/Track Review Red Nation "1"
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Heavy Weather" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Weather
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Live At Blues Alley" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Blues Alley
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "Written in the Rocks" CD/LP/Track Review Written in the Rocks
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: March 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!