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Spiritual Nature

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 7, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

The Resonance debut recording from an extremely
gifted artist poised for greatness.
A collection of music showcasing original
compositions and select standards.
Vega is the new featured pianist in the group of
legendary bassist Ron Carter, and he will tour with
Carter in the US & abroad throughout 2012 2013.
All-star recording featuring some of today s brightest
stars including Christian McBride (bass), Anthony
Wilson (guitar), Lewis Nash (drums), and Christian
Howes (violin).
Showcases Donald Vega s stylings on both piano and
Fender Rhodes.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 7, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Resonance Records
  • ASIN: B008BRC7CI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,328 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I taught on the jazz faculty at Interlochen for twenty-two summers. In the mid 1990s, a boy from Nicaragua showed up to audition one late June afternoon. He was very respectful and humble showing none of the "Mr. Cool" attitude that some of the other boys had adopted under the mistaken impression that it would make them play cool.

The boy from Nicaragua - only fifteen years old at the time - sat at the piano and began to play his audition for us - assuming nothing even remotely resembling a "Mr. Cool" attitude. He was calm and focused instead. I listened - and had my pencil in hand ready to write constructive comments.

I wrote nothing. I put my pencil down and just listened instead - in a stunned silence. We all did. This boy's name was Donald Vega, but if I had closed my eyes, I would have sworn I was listening to Bill Evans.

When Donald finished his audition, he looked up with a sweet expression on his face. I looked straight at him and said, "How did you learn to play like that, Donald?" He answered - in a gentle Nicaraguan accent - "I listened to the records".

I looked at my colleagues, my wife Robin Connell among them, and just shook my head. We had a gifted one with us and we all knew it.

Donald spent two summers with us at Interlochen. And he played with such brilliance during those sixteen weeks. And now after my twenty-two summers at Interlochen (the summer of 2011 was my last summer) I look back and realize that Donald was the best jazz piano student we ever had there. As well as the others played - and there were very many superb young pianists during those years - Donald is still the best.

Here he is now. Listen to how far he has come in the jazz world! I'm so proud of him! ¡El Gato! The Cat! Donald Vega! My Interlochen Boy!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For several weeks, my favorite jazz radio station mentioned that there was buzz around a Los Angeles-based pianist with a new album. Now, hearing the recording, I can easily understand the excitement. Donald Vega came to America from Nicaragua as a boy and soon discovered jazz. Although already proving himself to local Latin and jazz audiences, he recognized that his art required further development, and his graduate education included the Manhattan Institute of Music and Julliard. He studied with Kenny Barron. His first recording was that of a trio with Ron Carter and Lewis Nash: another education. This album presents a mature artist with a comprehension of composition and arrangement, a feeling for complexity and for swing, a joy of flow, and knowledge when to integrate and when to let loose. The other musicians on this outing are Lewis Nash and Christian McBride, comprising the core trio, and for expanded timbre, Anthony Wilson on guitar, Christian Howes playing violin, Bob Sheppard, saxophone, and Gilbert Castellanos and Bob McChesney, comprising the brass section. We are presented 72 minutes and 12 pieces, as if he needed the unusual extended album to demonstrate his musical palette, which can include an adapted Alexander Scriabin classical work and a Tom Jobim Brazilian composition. These successive tracks vary in tempo and mood, but each has a sophisticated, rich texture of sound, a ripeness of mainstream jazz. Each piece is worthy and it is difficult to declare a best. I much like the final track, I Remember Clifford, which is arranged as a subdued, sensitive trio. Each time through the album, the listener will probably choose a different piece. Ron Carter appreciated Vega so much that he recruited Vega for his own trio.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
"Spiritual Natue" by Donald Vega is certain to elevate the talented young pianist's stature within the jazz world. The core consists of Vega on piano together with the stellar rhythm section of Lewis Nash on drums and Christian McBride on bass. Other musicians include Christian Howes on violin, Bob Sheppard on tenor sax, and Anthony Wilson on electric guitar who are all virtuosos at their respective instruments. The end result is an outstanding recording that should appeal to everyone who enjoys quality music.

Twelve songs are included. "Scorpion" is a rousing kick-off with Vega's piano dancing through a tight horn arrangement and McBride's scaling bass; which is followed by a hot sax solo by Sheppard and then a commanding drum solo by Nash. "First Trip" is a cool jazz number that shuffles along to Nash's beat, McBride's walking bass line and nice communication on the crisp leads exchanged between Vega and Wilson. "River" is a sophisticated piece with violin that showcases Vega's range and virtuosity.

The title track "Spiritual Nature" offers a textbook example of tasteful performance and arranging skills by Vega with fine solo performances by Sheppard and Vega. "Accompong" is a hot track with scorching guitar and piano solos that are played over a workout rythmn section. "Future Child" is a soaring piece whose open spaces are filled with Vega's magnificent piano and Howes' beautiful violin. "You Never Tell Me Anything" is an uptempo number that allows the trio of Vega, Nash and McBride to step out and show what they have learned about playing together.

"Contemplation" is an ethereal track with Vega's electric keys and Wilson's electric guitar producing a dreamy soundscape that is kept down to earth thanks to Nash's solid and inventive work on the skins.
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