Ray Vega illustrates what is most attractive about Latin jazz—that is, its inextinguishable spirit and rhythm. And I mean rhythm. From the get-go, Squeeze Squeeze is a Latin love fest, replete with the complex percussion necessary to support the orgy of cross- and counter-rhythms generated by the "head" musicians. Right out of the chute, Mr. Vega crackles like a young Dizzy Gillespie on Wayne Shorter’s "Black Nile," spitting a blue flame of notes in his well-constructed solo. He can also be as tender as hot, as is evident on the McCoy Tyner ballad, "Contemplation." Mr. Vega is able to convey his plan throughout the miasma of shifting, humid rhythms.
Mr. Vega’s sextet is equally effective on the recording. The last number of years has seen the re-emergence of the little big band, nonets and dectettes. Ray Vega is further slimming down these numbers to produce a full-bodied sound. This is well illustrated in recent recordings by Joe Lovano, Martial Solal, and Carla Bley. The trumpeter’s band hits on all cylinders focusing on his Latin bop roots, highlighting the importance of percussionist Wilson Corneil and drummer Adam Weber. The recording, on the whole, is very accessible and absolutely infectious, betraying that secret of Latin culture: happiness. That is something we all should have.
Learning Jazz gave me a masters degree in music. Jazz is American Classical Music, came
out of a need to be heard, to be understood, a voice when black America did not have one.
This is why the music is more than just an art form, it was created from blood, guts and heart
of those who suffered in this world. Its not to be taken lightly. If you do take it lightly it will
never sound right. Thank you to all the courageous musicians who made the world hear
them, their innovation came out of their experiences of the time that they lived. A treasure to
the world. American Classical Music. Imitate, Assimilate, Innovate a quote by Clark Terry.