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Ray Vega & Friends

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Album Review

Trumpeter Ray Vega, who has mostly played in Afro-Cuban jazz settings (including with Mongo Santamaria, Ray Barretto, and Tito Puente), mostly emphasizes hard bop on his self-titled debut, especially on "Greenhouse" (based on "What Is This Thing Called Love") and a medium-slow "Alone Together." However he also performs some Latin music and Wilson "Chembo" Corniel is prominent on conga. Vega's combo (which includes tenor saxophonist Roger Byam) is skillful at switching between the two overlapping styles. A fine effort.

Customer Reviews

Ray Vega & Friends

A mix of contemporary country and
Romantic love songs. Great voice.

If you're in Love, buy this CD!

Or even if you're not in love, but want to be, and remember how it used to feel - buy this CD! Ray Vega has THE most beautiful, and haunting tenor voice I've ever heard in Popular music history. Roy Orbison himself would have to hand it to this guy on vocals alone. I bought a CD of his from back in the mid-90s that was for some reason never released to the public, but a few copies made it out to DJs, and I found one of those copies in a used CD bin in Nashville for a couple of bucks. It's the best buy I've ever made, and to this day has been one of my favorite treasures to put on when I want to go away to a time when things were rich and fulfilling in my life, and I was head over heels in love. Ray appeared on a couple of TNN shows back then, and I was floored with his talent. Whoever is responsible for snuffing out his singing debut back then deserves to lose his job, and never hold one again in the recording industry, because he sure doesn't know an awesome singer when he hears one. If Barbara Streisand ever heard this guy, she would want to record a whole album with him I'm sure!

Been looking for his music for years

I fell in love with Ray Vega when I first heard him on the radio in the 90's the song Even More. I could not find it anywhere. I did crazy things like sit and wait by the radio for the song to come on and have the cassett tape ready to punch record. I was just never fast enough to get it. Picture- jumping out of the bath tub to run to the recorder:). A very good friend of mine helped in the search and his brother a DJ was put on the trail, and that year as a Christmas present he gave me the cassett. Musically speaking it was the best present I ever recived, and I guarded it with my life. Of couse until digital came along and I could tranfer it to CD. And now I stumble across this album. His voice is gorgeous, the songs beautiful. Buy this album. You will never forgte his voice.

Biography

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

At the age of 12, when Ray Vega saw Machito & His Orchestra play in Central Park, the South Bronx native decided he was destined to play the saxophone. Enrolled in his school's music program, Vega received the bad news that the school was out of saxophones, so he reluctantly switched to trumpet. A year later he was being taught by Down Beat poll winner Jerry Gonzales, an experience that changed Vega's opinion of the instrument forever. Studying the trumpet throughout his high-school years gave...
Full Bio
Ray Vega & Friends, Ray Vega
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