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Carlos Vega drummer

The 5th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 18, 2002
Wednesday Night
@ La Ve Lee
12514 Ventura Blvd. Studio City, CA
818-980-8158


Carlos Vega Memorial Drum Scholorship - click here for more info


Video Clips

Carlos Vega drummer Carlos Vega drummer
Carlos Vega drummer Carlos Vega drummer

Note : These videos are in Quicktime


A Few Reviews...

Well it was that time of year again for David Garfield to chalk up yet another unforgetable all-star jam session of his favorite cats paying tribute to the late session drummer Carlos Vega, whom Garfield met upon first settling out here nearly 30 years ago. Many of the musicians who participated in the '02 benefit Garfield met through Vega.

Alot of returnees from the past couple years reprised their appearances on this sold-out night. Because it was on weeknight this time due to scheduling conflicts I could only attend the first show.

The core house band Garfield put together this evening consisted of Garfield - keyboards, Gregg Bissonette - drums, John Pena - bass, Ray Fuller - guitar (replacing Paul Jackson Jr), Larry Williams - sax, auxilary keyboards, and Lenny Castro - percussion. But a number guest musicians and singers would come and sit in as the evening wore on.

The set began w/a perennial fave, Miles Davis fusion masterpiece, "Tutu" with it's reggae-ish swing drive featuring a smooth tenor solo from Williams who played w/lots of fervor and punch, and Garfield who was in such fine form playing chord and single note progreesion so hyper yet always in control. Fuller made his guitar literally cry on this number and that's why he's nicknamed "the weeper" by his colleagues.

A Garfield original, "Sweet P.C."(dedicated to his fiancee)has been part of his setlist for years and is a pleasingly uptempo funk-thumper and will be on his forthcoming CD, "Giving It Back". This featured spotlights on Williams, Garfield, and some spectacular basswork from Pena.

Steve Porcaro was invited to come up for the next number his own, "Human Nature" and played the aux keyboard. Garfield mentioned that it's one of the few compositions to be covered by both Michael Jackson and Miles Davis, however the band played the Davis arrangement w/the exception that Williams took the solo since no trumpeter was present.

The first of the guest singers came up next. Making her return from the previous year flying in specially from Hawaii was former Seawind vocalist Pauline Wilson. She sang a pretty Brazilian rendition of a Nancy Wilson tune, "Never Let Me Go" which can be found on Wilson's most recent CD, "Tribute". This number was not the one composted by Johnny Mandel, this was another entirely different song.

Chicago's Jason Scheff came up next to do a tune he co-wrote w/Bobby Caldwell and originally made famous by Boz Scaggs in '88, "Heart Of Mine". It began with some spacy yet flowery synth sounds from Garfield and performed alot more esoteric than Scaggs recorded. I've heard Scheff sing this live before but not w/such angelic passion the way he delivered this night. He sang it from the heart. He even mentioned how the song came together and ended being recorded by Scaggs. But Scheff's performance but Scaggs to shame.

An unannounced vocalist came up next, Phil Perry to sing a heartfeld rendition of "For The Love Of You" along w/guest drummer Steve Ferrone sitting in along w/ Rosemary Butler providing background vocals. I can't understand why Perry doesn't get played on smooth jazz stations or aired on their playlists period. What a pair of pipes this dude has. His range is high enough to bounce off satellites. Unbelievable sensce of control and power and not heard enough to the masses. He's as big as an ox and his voice makes up for his looks. Williams once again provided another stirring solo.

It was time for veteran session songtress Rosemary Butler to be featured. This blonde siren has worked w/James Taylor, Linda Rondstandt, Doobie Bros., and Jackson Browne. She did a nice rendition of the Motown classic, "Ooh Baby Baby" which Butler herself sang background on Rondstandt's hit recording of the same song. Butler still sings like an angel and Wison and Perry provided crisp background harmonies along w/solos from Williams and Fuller.

The carribbean-flavored junkanoo-ish groove set the mood for the thrusting tempo on "Corbitt van Brauer", which spotlighted Williams elegantly on flute, Garfield again, some pulsating conga/timbale banging from Castro and Bissonnette showing off his stickwork. The climax of the number found Bissonette and Castro battling it out in a rock'em sock'em, interplay cutting contest and it had the audience rabble-rousing for more.

The set closed w/all the singers returning (Wilson, Butler, Scheff, Perry) plus Little Feat's Richie Hayward guesting in the drum chair for "What's Going On". Perry and Scheff traded off the first two choruses but it was mostly that dominated much of the song while Butler and Wilson sang the backgrounds. Perry showing off his vocal gymnastics in this number. Garfield and Williams showcased some fine solo choruses.

This was yet another magical evening that Garfield pulled off w/out a hitch. I later learned that Jonathan Butler came in for the second set and sang a couple numbers. Garfield a couple days later at Pauline Wlson's own gig told me J. Butler brought the house down. Until next year.... Incidentally Garfield's next CD, "Giving It Back" will finally be released in February. A number of guests on the CD will include Bill Champlin, Alex Ligertwood, Jason Scheff, Steve Lukather, Gerald Albright, and June Kuramoto. I'm looking forward to it.

Helene Lieberman
email
(818) 464-6848 x6984 - voicemail / fax




Check out exciting moments from past concerts :

December 7, 2008 - 11th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 8, 2007 - 10th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 9, 2006 - 9th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 3, 2005 - 8th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 11, 2004 - 7th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 12th, 2003 - 6th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 18th, 2002 - 5th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 8th, 2001 - 4th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 9th, 2000 - 3rd Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert

December 7th, 1998 - 1st Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert



The Carlos Vega Memorial Drum Scholorship - click here for more info