Carlos Vega

Art of the Messenger

origin 82824

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Larry Hollis, Cadence

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Here's a belated present for all us hard bop lovers. This Carlos Vega has a pair of previously issued discs for the Origin label and is not to be confused with the drummer of the same name. Those two platters were salutes to Bird but this time around its a nod to powerhouse drum-master Art Blakey Vega's bandmates are the same on all three discs so one has little trouble understanding how super tight this quintet is on this third album. Each of the eleven compositions present are from the pen of the leader which lends even more cohesion to the program. The trumpet and tenor lock in like two lovers over an elastic band-like rhythmic bed to produce some scintillating sounds. The leader allows everyone plenty of solo space as he should since, although not well known, these guys are beasts on their instruments. Both upright and drum kit get to stretch out impressively but it is Victor Garcia who knocks it out of the park every time out. Straight out of Freddie Hubbard to these ears (and liner scribe Neil Tessers) this is a brassero to watch. His frontline comrade also is equal to the task of keeping up with him and holds many sax strains in his stylistic bag which lets him fit in with the Chicago "tough tenors" school. Garcia lays out on tracks 7 and 11 and there are a pair of sambas heard with crackling drums on "Across The Ocean" and "Heed The Call".








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