"East-West Trumpet Summit is a joyful celebration of friendship and music from two heavyweights of jazz trumpet."
RAY VEGA: Press
"Ray Vega is Latin Jazz"
"Nice group, nice groove, and really good trumpet playing. Here's one of the wings of New York Latin jazz, firmly in the modernist jazz tradition. Vega, a trumpeter, plays a tune each by Wayne Shorter and by McCoy Tyner, and his own compositions. It could almost be a session on Blue Note from 1961, and that's praise. The sextet takes off over a percussion base of Wilson "Chembo" Corniel on percussion and Adam Weber on drums; the soloists, including Bobby Porcelli on alto saxophone and Igor Atalita on piano, sound more than comfortable.
"The mantle of Jazz Messengers-tinged Latin jazz has been at least partly assumed by trumpeter–percussionist Ray Vega’s sextet, with Squeeze, Squeeze a prime example of exciting, creative improvising and danceable polyrhythms that are seemingly inexhaustible."
"Vega's own style of trumpet imparts the best in his forerather's traits: the crisp, intelligent delivery of Freddie Hubbard, the passionate fortitude of Kenny Dorham, the clean precision of Woody Shaw, and the romantic depth of Chet Baker and Art Farmer."
"Latin music has always placed a premium on top-shelf brass players, and trumpeter Ray Vega is characteristic of that credo. His tone is round and full, his attack crisp and fiery, and on top of those laudable capabilities he’s quite versatile; Vega is as comfortable with the flatted fifth as he is with la clave, both of which are in abundance on this date. His experience as a professional leans heavily on the Latin Jazz side, though his training and his subsequent work as an educator find both feet planted on either side of the fence, as does this recording, his fourth as a leader.
For the date he has chosen a simpatico crew of other equally versatile compadres, including alto saxophonist Bobby Porcelli, conguero Wilson “Chembo” Corniel, and three who are new to these ears: pianist Igor Atalita, bassist Gregg August, and trap drummer-percussionist Adam Weber. Not sure if these are Ray’s regulars, but they establish a cohesion that suggests something other than a recording session pick-up band.
A veteran of such Latin Jazz touchstones as Mario Bauza’s Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, Mongo Santamaria’s band, and Ray Barretto’s New World Spirit, the South Bronx native and Music and Art High School grad is part of a potent third generation of Latin jazz players who take equal parts sustenance from both sides of the plate. Witness his treatment of such 60s jazz tunes as Wayne Shorter’s “Black Nile” and his evocative treatment of McCoy Tyner’s “Contemplation.” Always there is a sense of positive, forward motion to Ray Vega’s music, one which is borne out handsomely on this disc."
"...a dean of golden tones and elegant, melody-respecting improvisational development"
"....Ray Vega could easily end up being one of the best in the Latin-Jazz playground"
"....he went out of his way to ingratiate the audience that had arrived fully ready to eat out of his hand. Now that's service."
"...The trumpeter's instrumental artistry lies in consisency, well-connected phrases, command of all registers and good taste."
"...Vega is a hornman with deep roots in Latin music and Afro-Cuban Jazz."
"Whether on trumpet of flugelhorn. which he plays with equal dexterity, he featured a sound that is bolder than that of many jazz horns, yet avoided the insistent upper register flights that is the norm among latin players."
"This fabulous recording from this underrated, Bronx-born Puerto Rican trumpeter is a shout out to the jazz trumpet gods. A veteran sideman with Ray Barretto and Mongo Santamaria, Vega pull out all the stops on this project, which could have been titled, "How to Marry Latin Rhthyms to Jazz and Still Swing." "