Donald Vega: As I Travel

The Nicaraguan pianist, a sometime Ron Carter sideman, produces accomplished, predominantly Latin jazz with John Patitucci and Lewis Nash


Having fled his native Nicaragua as a teenager and studied music at the highest of levels in the US, pianist Donald Vega has become a highly respected fixture on his adopted country’s jazz scene; his work has included a stint in Ron Carter’s Golden Striker trio.

The programme Vega has put together for this disc is made up of his self-penned material which mainly sits in the Latin-jazz zone, the exceptions being the attractive ballad Isabel and the pacey Dear Myra, both benefiting from the absence of the relentless percussion of Quintero.

Yes, there are plenty of the standard features expected of the genre but the pianist is an accomplished musician who raises the level of performance a tad above the norm – having the assistance of the Patitucci/Lewis axis is a great plus.

The tunes, apart from Isabel, don’t necessarily linger in the memory but given the music’s momentum there is plenty to engage the senses.

(1) iBaila! Dance Like No One’s Watching; As I Travel; I Know You Can Fly; Tomorrows II; Alegria; Disturbios; (2) Isabel – The Enchanting Nature Of You; Dear Mayra; (1) Beautiful Ladies (50.08)
(1) Donald Vega (p); John Patitucci (b); Lewis Nash (d); Luisito Quintero (pc). NY, 9 March 2023. (2) as (1) but omit Quintero.
Imagery Records