A member of the esteemed Ron Carter Trio, Donald Vega is a contemporary pianist in the tradition of Oscar Peterson whose pleasurable, rhythmic style is perfectly matched to the melodic tunes of Monty Alexander.
On Vega’s swinging tribute, With Respect To Monty, he’s flush with first-rate collaborators, guitarist Anthony Wilson, bassist Hassan Shakur and drummer Lewis Nash, and digs into Alexander’s deeply felt and uplifting compositions with equal fervor. Despite the album’s absence of a recognizable standard tune, Vega wears his passion on his sleeve and gives songs like the sweetly rendered ballad “Consider” and the Jamaican-tinged “Slippery” instant appeal. The interplay between Wilson and Vega is consistently rewarding, particularly on “You Can See,” a dazzler that juggles New Orleans percussion and crisp guitar lines with Vega’s soulful playing style. (10 tracks; 63 minutes)