Monday, 23 April 2018

Vega “Andaluza” 1978 + “Jara” 1979 Spain Andalusian Prog Flamenco Jazz Rock Fusion


Vega “Andaluza” 1978 + “Jara” 1979 Spain Andalusian Prog Flamenco Jazz Rock Fusion 
Vega “Andaluza"1978 full spotify
https://open.spotify.com/album/4ngdDbGDXj1IXuCCzpNnSB

Vega "Castuera” 1979 (HQ) on google+

https://photos.app.goo.gl/hbhmGJ0w0650nLl22

Vega  "Jara"  1979 (HQ) on google+

https://photos.app.goo.gl/UAlynrG5s5EbjFlk1

Vega  “Apacible” youtube  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO1YJLChKUk




Vega “Andaluza"1978

Absolutely brilliant guitar work and an excellent overall atmosphere. A perfect blend of flamenco, jazz and prog - a perfect example of Andalusian Rock even though the group wasn’t based in Andalusia. Nothing better than listening to this record while walking through the streets of Granada….by…Waski …~

Nice instrumental Flamenco jazz-rock fusion from the Andaluza region of Spain. Not exactly top-tier for the genre, as there are several fantastic releases from Spain that sit a level or two above this album. But if you like hot, Flamenco-style jazz/fusion, this is a good one to own. The digipack cover beautifully restores the original artwork and the sound quality is crisp and clean. …by…olander607 ….~

In the early Nineties I bought some Spanish progrock magazines (Sirius) in order to improve my ‘one-year-Spanish’ and to discover more of the exciting world of Spanish progressive rock. In one Sirius I noticed an add in which Angel Romero (a known Spanish proghead from Madrid who later moved to the USA) offered his entire progrock LP collection because of a dust-allergy. I felt like a vulture but it was no problem to him, he was happy with my appreciation for the socalled Rock Andaluz, the wonderful blend of Spanish flamenco and progrock. I asked him for advise and bought albums from Cai, Azahar and Vega. On this debut LP guitarplayer Tomas Vega delivers a pleasant progressive blend of flamenco and rock. 
1. Triana (3:55): This track is a transition from Spanish composer Isaac Albeniz his work. It contains a cheerful climate and a swinging rhythm-section featuring jazzy inspired flamenco guitar runs, a bit polished string-arrangements and an exciting duel between flowing electric guitar and fast flamenco guitar. 

2. Zona rosa (5:53): The first and final part sounds romantic with warm flamenco guitar and tender acoustic piano runs. In between a swinging rhythm and splendid flamenco guitar work, great electric guitar overdubs (howling with echoes from early Triana), propulsive conga percussion and a dynamic rhythm-section. 

3. Origen (5:07): This song delivers the most obvious Morish atmosphere (for many years Andalusia was occupied by the Arabs in medieval times): a mid-tempo with an adventurous rhythm-section, exciting flamenco guitar and fiery electric guitar (again some great overdubs), evoking bands like Triana, Mezquita and Iceberg (also Rock Andaluz). 

4. Arco Iris (3:30): It starts with warm and sensitive flamenco guitar and soaring strings. Then an accellaration delivering a mid-tempo with powerful electric guitar, sparkling Fender Rhodes piano and again exciting flamenco guitar play. 

5. Andaluza (5:32): The titletrack (a transition from Spanish composer Enrique Granados) has a romantic undertone due to the romantic string- arrangements, bringing Alameda to my mind. The jazz inspired flamenco guitar work reminds me strongly of the pivotal and innovative flamenco guitarist Paco De Lucia, outstanding! 

6. Lamentos (6:06): The final song delivers great interplay, sensational electric guitar overdubs and alternates between mellow with romantic piano and sensitive flamenco guitar and swinging with fiery electric guitar (an Andalusian undertone)….by…by erik neuteboom …~

If you, like me, always wanted to hear traditional flamenco music played with a modern band, this is the record to have! Andaluza is an all instrumental album that does justice to the true flamenco style. That means: basic spanish guitar runs with bass, drums and piano addings, plus some overddubed electric guitars thrown in for good measure. The arrangements enhance the natural richness of the style, that has some jazzy overtones and often strong middle eastern influences peeping in. 
The CD is not perfect, though, since the string arrangements are just too tacky for my taste. Fortunatly they don´t appear too much, just a couple of tracks. A string synthesizer or a mellotron would have done wonders in this kind of music (plus giving it a more progressive edge), but I´m just wondering. Even if the record is quite short (only 30 minutes in total), the high quality of the music stands and it is more interesting than most of the spanish bands I´ve known so far that claims to mix flamenco with rock. 

Although I still think Juan Martin´s Picassos Portraits as the most interesting Flamenco/progressive rock fusion, Andaluza is an excellent efford. My final rating is something between 3,5 to 4 stars….by Tarcisio Moura …~

I don’t have that much to say about this great album. It’s important to point out what can be expected. This is by no means prog folk (like Jethro). This is guitar oriented fusion with 40% jazz, 40% flamenco and 20% symphonic/melodic prog influences. Yeah, this ain’t a standard for the progressive genre, but it might be very very appealing for people interested in the Prog Andaluz genre and those who are intro fusion will find something truly amazing. The album is fully instrumental. One letdown is the fact that this album only spins for 30 minutes, which is very short for today’s standards. I myself find this to be acceptable; halve an hour of instrumental fusion is enough for me. 
The main person of the band Vega is the master guitar player Thomas Vega. His expertise, style and technique are a virtue throughout the album. He also wrote four of the six pieces on the album. He plays electric, acoustic and flamenco guitars. The others members of the band are also very professional. The drums are jazzy and the bass is nice, except for the first two tracks which give me the feeling the bass is slight bit out of pitch. 
Vega’s compositions are based on very nice harmonic ideas and professional fusion concepts with some warm string arrangements. The only thing that isn’t that good about the tracks is the lack of development during the tracks or the album as a whole. Every song is a track on it’s own and has a lot of melodies, but there’s never a very good way to end the songs. 
Conclusion. Are you interested in the genre’s mentioned in this review? This might be one of these gem’s you weren’t looking for yet. This is not per se a great addition to any prog rock collection, but a lot of PA members will find a great fusion album with great flamenco influences. Especially people interested in Al di Meola should listen to this! The great ethnic additions raise this album to a 3.7 rating to be precise. A 40 minute album with some developmental tracks would have made this a masterpiece of jazz rock. A small four stars for now. 
Last words.. It turned out to be I had enough to say about this great album….. by friso …~

Line-up / Musicians 
- Tomás Vega / guitars 
- Guty López / bass 
- Larry Martin / drums 
- Pedro Ample / percussion 
- Rafael Guillermo / piano, organ, mini-Moog 
- Enrique Carmona / guitar 
- Julián Llinás / string arrangements 

Tracklist 
A1 Triana 3:54 
A2 Zona Rosa 5:52 
A3 Origen 5:05 
B1 Arco Iris 3:30 
B2 Andaluza 5:30 
B3 Lamentos 6:02 






Vega  "Jara” 1979

This is Spanish guitarplayer Tomas Vega his second album, it sounds different from his first effort but absolutely not less exciting! 
1. Jara (3:38): A swinging rhythm with a strong duel between flamenco - and electric guitar. The music becomes very dynamic and exciting with great soli on piano. Flamenco - and electric guitar and even the Moog synthesizer. The climate sounds as a blend of flamenco and jazzrock. 
2. Monterubio (6:04): Another swinging rhythm featuring splendid jazz/flamenco inspired acoustic guitar runs and sensational soli on a jazzy sounding piano and Moog synthesizer. The rhythm-section is incredible, so dynamic and adventurous. 
3. Hornada (6:03): This track contains an Andalusian atmosphere, lots of great soli on piano, synthesizer and fiery electric guitar, supported by Santana-like percussion on conga. The sensational sound evokes Al DiMeola (Elegant Gypsy-era). 
4. Castuera (5:12): Again splendid work from the rhythm-section, great electric guitar overdubs and powerful work on the saxophone. Vega swings and rocks! 
5. Punta Umbria (7:53): Here some wonderful tremolo guitar work, soaring strings and a swinging piano solo, most of the time the rhythm is mid-tempo, again it sounds very dynamic. 
6. Apacible (2:53): The final track is more mellow with sensitive acoustic guitar. 
JUST ANOTHER GREAT SPANISH PROGROCK DISCOVERY!!…by erik neuteboom …~

This record was made available for me by my prog-buddy Erik Neuteboom, who’s affection for the Prog Andaluz genre is contagious. The prog andaluz garden has some nice fruits, one of them is the fusion oriented Vega. It’s hard to find bands of the genre. Somehow all prog bands from Spain were placed in odd categories like prog folk, symphonic prog and other strange places. 
Vega is for instance a very clear Flamenco/Fusion album with a bit of symphonic prog influences. Prog folk is not to be found anywhere near this record. I just wrote a review about the debut and only difference between this record and the debut it that Jara has a bigger focus on the Fusion side of the band. The mix had now become a 50% jazz-rock, 40% flamenco en 10% symphonic/melodic prog. This way the second album of Vega has become an attractive album for people interested in bands like Mahavishnu, Return to Forever and especially Al Di Meola. 
The album is still a bit short, clocking around halve an hour. There’s little development in the songs or the album as a whole, but the tracks are all high quality fusion tracks with nice melodic parts and great solo’s and arangements. The bass and drums have improved on this second album and sometimes you’ll end up listening to the highest quality of jazz-rock. The ego of master guitar player Thomas Vega is a big as it should be: Thomas Vega shows us why humanity was given this string instrument, but never get’s to dominant in the sound- scape. This is a blessing. 
Conclusion. A bit better then the debut, but still short of emotional development in song or the the albums as a whole. The good thing is this album doesn’t have one unlikable moment either and the technical and melodic side of the music is top notch. People interested in the genre’s mentioned should try this. Those who prefer the fusion side of the music should begin with Jara, people interested in the prog Andaluz side of the music are better of with the debut. Again a small four star rating for Vega!… by friso …~

Jara is a fine flamenco fusion album - not aggressive rock as with other Andalusian bands such as Medina Azahara, Mezquita and Triana - more of a refined cocktail sound. Twelve string acoustic flamenco guitars and rhythms combined with Rhodes, flute and a lightly amplified electric guitar define the sound of Vega. Both Andaluza and Jara feature remarkable paintings, two of the finest to ever have graced LPs. Oh, this is Tomas Vega, not to be confused with Daniel Vega, who also put out a nice progressive fusion album…by…ashratom…~

While Vega’s debut was more of a normal band effort, this one appears to be more of a Tomás Vega solo album with several guests on sax, bass, percussion, flute an piano.Vega himself plays both the electric and flamenco guitar and who knows who handles the several Moog synth flights all over the album, which is turning towards a less traditional Andalusian Prog sound and now flirts with a much jazzier direction, always propelled by the man’s unique virtuosity on flamenco guitar.There’s a sense of freedom in the compositons and the constant use of piano in a jazzy vein strengthens the more Fusion-esque roots.Overall a pretty sunny and tropical instrumental album with a fantastic front cover, propably drawn by the same man, who was responsible for Vega’s debut and Gòtic brilliant artwork on “Escenes”….by…apps79 …~

Line-up / Musicians 
- Tomas Vega / guitar 
- Jorge Sivester / Alto saxophone 
- Fernando Bravo / flute 
- Miguel A. Chastang / bass 
- Luis Fornes / piano 
- Ruben Dantas / conga, percussion 
- Cesar Berti / conga, percussion

Tracklist 
A1 Jara
A2 Monterrubio
A3 Hornada
B1 Castuera
B2 Punta Humbría
B3 Apacible 







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