Ray Vega and Thomas Marriott present a compelling recording, brimming with creative imagination, technical fluency, and a deep respect for the jazz tradition. This album also features fine performances by Travis Shook, Jeff Johnson, and Matt Jorgensen. Shook's soloing is daring and adventuresome, while Johnson and Jorgensen lock down the time and their own solos to the mix with verve and skill. The standards on the CD include "It's You Or No One," "Juicy Lucy," "Round Midnight," and "In a Sentimental Mood." "It's You Or No One" alternates between pedal point and straight four. Marriott and Vega display a firm command of the bop language. "Juicy Lucy" sports Bird's "Confirmation" changes at a medium tempo. Marriott's lines crackle with rhythmic energy. Vega touches his lines in the blues and pays homage to Clifford Brown in his excursion. The ballads are lovely features for each solo artist; Vega finds a taut, haunting quality to project over Monk's classic melody. Marriott spotlights Ellington, taking more liberties and infusing this standard with a lyricism that is at once heroic and introspective. The highlights of this CD are the original compositions of the the trumpeters. "Pelham Gardens" invokes Golson-esque floavor and swings hard and "Bishop Island" drifts along in 6/8 meter. The melody reaches upwards with sustained tones and ascending intervallic leaps. "Only Of A Season" feels autumnal as it floats in a jazz-waltz. Vega's "It's a New York Thing" sizzles like the music at a street party. The CD wraps up with Marriott's "Big Brother." Both trumpeters sparkle on this energetic and ascendant composition. Check out this album. Ray Vega and Thomas Marriott present a musical vibe that is contagious and pleasing!