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).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Imagery Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Related Video

Shop

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 "Ghosts Appearing Through The Sound" CD/LP/Track Review Ghosts Appearing Through The Sound
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 27, 2016
Read "Guitar Stories: Slack Key & Beyond" CD/LP/Track Review Guitar Stories: Slack Key & Beyond
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 2, 2016
Read "Upset The Status Quo" CD/LP/Track Review Upset The Status Quo
by James Nadal
Published: May 11, 2016
Read "Inner Circle" CD/LP/Track Review Inner Circle
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 30, 2016
Read "How to Build a City" CD/LP/Track Review How to Build a City
by Jim Olin
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Sounds Of 3" CD/LP/Track Review Sounds Of 3
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 17, 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!