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SpanishEnglishTradition and Beyond

CD Review: Tradition and Beyond  by Ernesto Vega (Blackwood & Sound 2019)
Review by Bill Tilford, all rights reserved

hough clarinet virtuoso and composer Ernesto Vega currently teaches in Houston, he has maintained his working connections in Cuba, and his newest recording Tradition and Beyond was recorded in Havana with some of the best of Cuba's younger Jazz stars (Harold López-Nussa, Gaston Joya and Ruy-Adrian López-Nussa with guest appearances by Alejandro Falcón and Edgar Martínez).   All are winners of different editions of JoJazz, Cuba's national competition for young Jazz artists. There are also excellent liner notes by Arturo O'Farrill, with whom Ernesto has recorded and performed. 

The general concept of the album is a tribute to several musicians that Ernesto listened to in his childhood, but with original compositions.   It is an excellent example of the cool side of Cuban Jazz, heartfelt, lyrical, intricate without being esoteric.   Although Ernesto's superb clarinet passages are the centerpiece of the album, he gives Harold, Gaston and Alejandro plenty of space to express themselves, and their previous experience playing and recording together shines through in the recording.      

Tradition and Beyond is available  in the digital stores including CD Baby,, Apple Music,   Spotify and YouTube among others. 

Here is a a track from the album, Guajira Joropo, from the YouTube posting:

Track List (all compositions Ernesto Vega)
1. Camino Al Prado
2. Guajira Joropo
3. My Good Friend
4. One For Emiliano
5. Regálame un Danzón
6. My Cuban Soul 
7. Un Bolero Con Sentimiento
8.  Quierido New Orleans
9.  Sonsito Pa' Gozá

Roster for Tradition and Beyond

Role - InstrumentName
Leader, Clarinet, Melodica (1) Ernesto Vega 
Piano (except 5) Harold López-Nussa
Piano (5) Alejandro Falcón
Bass  Gaston Joya
Drums  Ruy-Adrián López-Nussa
Congas 4, 6 Edgar Martínez
Producer  Ernesto Vega 
Recording Engineer Giraldo García
Recording Studio  PM Records, Havana, Cuba 
Mix and Mastering  Andrew Bradley, James Kelley
Photographs  Roberto Ruiz Espinosa 
Graphic Design
Bill Tilford - Sunday, 29 September 2019, 02:09 PM