193

Donald Vega: Tomorrows

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
Donald Vega: Tomorrows
Combined with a forward-looking mindset and an emotional depth not often found on initial offerings, Tomorrows has all the things that a debut should: breadth of style, fresh approach and intimacy that lets one get to know the artist. Pianist Donald Vega, who fled from Nicaragua, has faced much adversity in his young life and impresses with a positive lyrical style. He has wisely chosen to round out his trio with drummer Lewis Nash and bassist David J. Grossman. The former, with his well-known expansive melodic approach, is the perfect match for Vega's playing and Grossman, a member of both the New York City Philharmonic and jazz scene, gels things with precision and grace.

While cuts like the bouncy original opener "Wake Up!" swing hard, it is the ballads and interpretive melodic pieces that most impress. The title cut includes vocalist Maria Neckam, whose nouveau bossa timbre in combination with the trio becomes delicately powerful. The other overtly Latin piece is an exquisite reworking of Charlie Haden's danzon "Our Spanish Love Song." This lovely melody is beautifully reinterpreted yet maintains the integrative compositional strength of the original.

Both "Indian Summer" and "Nostalgia" at first seem somewhat out of place with their pensive look backward. The former touchingly reflects on boyhood memories and the latter includes gorgeous arco bass work that gives the tune its yearning quality. When taken as a whole, however, these tunes ground the optimism with authenticity. This allows for the progressive interpretation of Kurt Weill's "Speak Low," uplifting "The Will to Nurture," swinging sting of the "Scorpion" and overt romanticism of the "Butterfly Waltz." Yes, Vega can swing but his ability to coax emotion with a gentle touch and turn of phrase is all the more delightful and inspiring.

Track Listing

Wake Up!; Our Spanish Love Song; Indian Summer; The Will to Nurture; Nostalgia; Speak Low; Tomorrows; Butterfly Waltz.

Personnel

Donald Vega: piano; Lewis Nash: drums; David J. Grossman: bass; Maria Neckam: vocals (8).

Album information

Title: Tomorrows | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Imagery Records

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

Read Warmer Than Blood
Warmer Than Blood
Chris Montague
Read Off Brand
Off Brand
Collage Project
Read Expanding Light
Expanding Light
Whit Dickey Trio
Read Iron Starlet
Iron Starlet
Connie Han

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.