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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.
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com