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Bobby Vega: Down the Road

Marked by the warm, natural tones of textured string arrangements, bassist Bobby Vega’s Down the Road (Bean Bag Entertainment 55564; 29:29) is a short collection of meditative, detailed stories. Vega brings these wordless tales to life through subtle use of dynamics and contrasting instrumentation. On “Last Time,” for example, Vega’s bass pops play against a tense string arrangement to create a dark, suspenseful quality. “Until Then” pairs open bass chords with accordion swells for a lovely waltz quality. Vega proves more than adept at utilizing the many facets of his bass throughout-from the fast-fingered funk of “Poonk,” to a driving lead on “Fabiana.” The composer is supported by stellar players like the Turtle Island String Quartet, percussionist Airto Moriera and flutist Matthew Earle, who bring their own particular innovations to Vega’s visions, combining modern and classical/folk styles for an entrancing whole.

Originally Published