Saxophonist Carlos Vega's band crackles...crafty arrangements, spirited group interplay, and ear-grabbing freshness and spontaneity in their soloing.
Dynamic saxophonist and composer Carlos Vega pursued his passion for jazz in school during the day while deeply entrenched in Miami's Latin music scene at night. The eclectic and electric musical experiences from that period helped form his unique approach that carried him through later work with Arturo Sandoval, Ira Sullivan, & Tito Puente. Moving to Chicago in 2005, his time spent there inspired his return from his present home in Tallahassee for the making of Bird's Ticket, a set of ten Vega originals featuring four of Chicago's finest, with Victor Garcia on trumpet, Stu Mindeman on piano, Josh Ramos on bass, and drummer Xavier Breaker. Carlos is on the faculty of Florida A&M University and is a current member of the Chicago Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble and trumpet legend Doc Severinsen's Big Band.
1. A Confluence in Chi-Town 8:59
2. Bird's Ticket 7:07
3. Taurus on the Run 10:08
4. Taurus and Virgo 7:24
5. Dragon Rose 6:39
6. Chicago Eight 6:43
7. Elements 6:40
8. The Wizard 10:24
9. In Other Words 7:56
10. Reflecting Pools 6:43
Produced by Carlos Vega
Recorded by Shane Hendrickson at IV Lab Studios
January 4, 2015
Mixed by Shane Hendrickson and Manny Sanchez
at IV Lab Studios Chicago and Los Angeles
Mastered by Larry Anthony at COS Mastering Atlanta, Georgia
Cover design and layout by John Bishop
All About Jazz (Dan McClenaghan)
4-STARS Saxophonist Carlos Vega's band crackles. The sound of "A Confluence in Chi-Town," the opener on his Bird's Ticket recording, has an on-the-edge urgency in its distinctive approach to the standard jazz quintet format - bass/drums/keyboard rhythm section and a trumpet and a saxophone - a line up like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie us ...
Midwest Review (Chris Spector)
With a foot in several worlds at once, sax man Vega can tear it up in Chicago while teaching in Florida while going straight ahead with Doc Severinsen after tearing it up Latin style with Arturo Sandoval. This is one cat that can make your head spin. Here we find him with some local Chicago cats mixing improv with experimental with free form tyin ...
Jazz Weekly (George W. Harris)
Tenor saxist Carlos Vega leads a heavy hitting post bop team of Victor Garcia/tp, Stu Mindeman/p-key, Josh Ramos/b and Xavier Breaker/dr through ten rich originals. Vega's tone is Coltrane-esque thick with a hint of fuzz attached and he's quite adept at tricky lines and driving grooves as on the quicksilver "A Confluence in Chi-Town" and intricate ...
Downbeat Magazine (Michael Jackson)
**** Miami-born Vega, assistant professor at Florida A&M University, returned to Chicago to record this, his first leader release. Vega had been active on Chicago's lively Latin jazz scene, notably with the cracking Chicago Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble during his years as a graduate student in the early aughts. He rejoins CALJE co-leader Victor Garc ...
The Jazz Owl (Travis Rogers, Jr.)
Carlos Vega, saxophonist and composer, was well-established in the Latin music scene of Miami and a student of Jazz when he made the move to Chicago in 2005. Having played with Arturo Sandoval and Tito Puente, he found a happy convergence of all his musical experiences and influences among the musicians of Chicago. It was this that brought about ...
Chicago Jazz Magazine (Hrayr Attarian)
Saxophonist Carlos Vega's debut on Origin Records, Bird's Ticket, is a delightful set of bop-influenced compositions laced with Latin exuberance and soul-jazz nuances. Vega's quintet interprets these intriguing originals with thrilling virtuosity and unbridled spontaneity. The title track opens with energetic, hard-swinging group refrains. V ...
KUCI.org (Hobart Taylor)
Vibrant, in the pocket, and cliche free this release is straight ahead small ensemble jazz with Latin tinges. Saxophonist Vega's compositions are delicate, nuanced, sophisticated, and intimate. Up beat tunes like "A Confluence in Chi-town" or "The Wizard" are compelling brain ticklers, and the mini-suite "Taurus on the Run" and "Taurus and Virgo" f ...
Improvijazzation (Dick Metcalf)
In addition to Carlos's totally engaging saxophone, you've got Victor Garcia on Trumpet, Stu Mindeman doing Piano and Rhodes, Josh Ramos with Acoustic Bass and Xavier Breaker on Drum set on this all-original set… the opener alone makes it clear that this is a jazz group you'll want to listen to over & over again, and takes me (way) back to my ear ...