Tenor saxophonist Carlos Vega’s blazing new album “Art of the Messenger” propels with hard-bop tenacity anchored in expressive Latin rhythms

Carlos Vega, ART OF THE MESSENGER (RELEASED: March 12, 2021)

Chicago-based tenor saxophonist Carlos Vega taps into the energy of the hard bop movement of the late 50s, with this quintet session that channels the vision of Art Blakey’s iconic Jazz Messengers. Filtering Blakey’s forward-thrusting style through his Puerto Rican heritage and extensive time spent with Latin and salsa bands in his native Miami, Vega’s concept reveals itself on the driving opening cut, ‘Art of the Messenger. ‘ Propelled by the powerful rhythms of drummer Xavier Breaker, bassist Josh Ramos and pianist Stu Mineman anchor the quintet throughout the session, with trumpeter Victor Garcia joining Vega on this formidable front line.

Subsequently, Vega turns this hard bop powerhouse on its collective ear with ‘Bird’s Word,’ a rousing Latin jazz homage to Charlie Parker. Vega’s take on the hard bop lineage incorporates stops in Chicago and Miami, allowing his mentors to clearly speak through his work. His take on the lexicon through these eleven originals is in no way nostalgic, but expressively looking forward through the lens of personal history. ~Editorial Review | Amazon

Saxophonist Carlos Vega’s band crackles. . . crafty arrangements, spirited group interplay, and ear-grabbing freshness and spontaneity in their soloing. ‘ – All About Jazz.


1. Art of the Messenger (7:44)
2. Bird’s Word (7:22)
3. Ode to the Patient Observer (5:13)
4. Across the Ocean (6:55)
5. Don’t Forget To Ask (5:57)
6. Something To Say (6:00)
7. Oh (5:23)
8. The Owl (5:50)
9. Who Cooks For You (8:19)
10. Heed the Call (9:14)
11. Serenata for Bela (6:42)

At your leisure, check out the powerhouse bop-influenced “ART OF THE MESSENGER” …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s