Donald Vega: Scorpion




Donald Vega (piano)


Tomorrows (Imagery Records)

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Donald Vega (piano), David J. Grossman (bass), Lewis Nash (drums).

Composed by Donald Vega


Recorded: Brooklyn, NY, 2008


Rating: 86/100 (learn more)

I have this problem with piano trios. It's not that I don't like them. I mean, Bill Evans, Scott LaFaro, Paul Motian what's not to like?! No, the problem is that the first trio I really latched onto was Chick Corea's A.R.C, with Dave Holland and Barry Altschul. My young ears and intellect honestly had no idea what was going on there. Somehow, though, I was attracted to the group interplay that seemed to make the somewhat chaotic music hold together. So it's difficult for me to not think of that first experience when listening to a new piano trio. You might think that this leads me to shy away from more traditional jazz trios, but what instead happens is that I focus on the group interactions.

With "Scorpion," the opening chords and connecting right-hand melodies are full of energy, but things really get cooking during Vega's solo. Bassist David J. Grossman walks a brilliant line that manages to stay locked into the pulse (thank you, Lewis Nash) while providing beautiful counterpoint to Vega's harmonic constructs. The music contains none of A.R.C's chaos, but does present that cohesive feel. Great stuff.

Reviewer: Mark Saleski

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