Saxophonist Carlos Vega's band crackles...crafty arrangements, spirited group interplay, and ear-grabbing freshness and spontaneity in their soloing.
The follow-up to saxophonist Carlos Vega's high-spirited 2016 release, "Bird's Ticket," brings him back to Chicago from his Tallahassee home to reconnect with the same group of Chicago's finest - Victor Garcia on trumpet, Stu Mindeman on piano, Josh Ramos on bass, and drummer Xavier Breaker - for a set of ten wide-ranging originals. Entrenched in Miami's Latin music scene in the early 2000s, the eclectic and electric musical experiences from that period helped form his unique approach that carried through later work with Arturo Sandoval, Ira Sullivan, & Tito Puente, and informs his composing and performing aesthetic now. Carlos is currently on the faculty of Florida A&M University and is a member of the Chicago Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble and trumpet legend Doc Severinsen's Big Band.
1. On A Mission (9:56)
2. Bird's Up (5:36)
3. Untitled Waltz For The Wednesday Morning Prayer Meeting (5:49)
4. Los Osos Grandiosos (6:53)
5. Morphology Of Freedom (7:01)
6. Swayed Elements (7:01)
7. Curve Ball (5:00)
8. The Wizard Swings (8:11)
9. Reflections Of Happy (5:53)
10. A Play For Keeps (8:13)
Carlos Vega - Tenor & Soprano Saxophones, Composer
Victor Garcia - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Stu Mindeman - Piano, Rhodes
Josh Ramos - Bass
Xavier Breaker - Drums
Cheryl Wilson - Vocals (3)
Scott Hesse - Guitar (3)
Steve Strand - Flugelhorn (3)
Michael B. Nelson - Trombone (3)
Produced by Carlos Vega
Recorded by Scott Steinman at Electrical Audio, Chicago, IL
on December 21-22, 2016
Mixed & mastered by David Darlington at Bass Hit Recording, New York
Photography by Carlos Vega
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
Left leaning Latin jazz first stewed in Chicago and later brewed in Miami, Vega brings it back home to tear it up with Chicago locals that love riding the groove express. Tasty, high octane stuff that finds the sax man and his pals giving it their all and giving more than you'd expect. A winner throughout. ...
WTJU, Richmond (Dave Rogers)
This is the second release by educator and tenor and soprano sax player Carlos Vega. He has a smooth and limber style on the sax and in addition to being a music professor at Florida A&M, he performs with the Chicago Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble. He returned to the windy city to make this second disc with his Chicago connections: Victor Garcia (trumpet ...
KUCI.org (Hobart Taylor)
This Chicago based saxophonist/composer swings with ease and authenticity. Joined in a quintet format featuring the elucidating Victor Garcia on trumpet, the music often has latin rhythms, but owes a lot to be-bop as well, an 21st century version of the Machito sound. But there are also straight ahead melodies for the ages, like the gorgeous "Untit ...
Jazz Weekly (George W. Harris)
Muscular-toned tenor saxist and composer Carlos Vega puts together a beefy post-bop quintet with Victor Garcia/tp-f, Stu Mindeman/p-key, Josh Ramos/b and Xavier Breaker/dr. He rotates between hip soul sounds with his Rhodes on pieces like the funky "On A Mission" and hip "Los Osos Grandiosos," and tongue in grove boppers like the title track and in ...
Improvijazzation (Dick Metcalf)
Carlos's high-energy & high-talent tenor and soprano sax work always gets high ratings here… I reviewed him just a while back in issue # 164, & this newest release is even better… you'll also hear great playing from Victor Garcia on Trumpet, Flugelhorn; Stu Mindeman – Piano, Rhodes; Josh Ramos – Bass; Xavier Breaker – Drums; Cheryl Wilson ...
Bebop Spoken Here (Lance Liddle)
Two CDs recorded not quite 2 years apart by a modern-day hardbop quintet led by Florida born Vega who also composed all of the 20 tracks on both albums as well as blowing some paint stripping sax. It's a humdinger of a band, all strong soloists in their own right and, importantly, team players too. Although the albums were recorded in Chicago, ther ...
Chicago Jazz Magazine (Jeff Cebulski)
Every region of this country has jazz talent that lacks more national attention, for reasons that may be linked to the general dearth of radio exposure or major label finances. Very gifted musicians with remarkable chops play on in front of appreciative audiences, sometimes releasing an album, hoping but not too-hopeful for a Break. One of these, a ...