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-   -   Carlos Vega (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20359)

Womble 11-12-2006 06:12 PM

Carlos Vega
 
http://drummerworld.com/drummers/Carlos_Vega.html

My drum teacher's favourite: "Jeff plus chops"! The amazing thing about Carlos is I have only ever owned 4 CDs and 1 DVD that feature him, and yet since the day I first heard him he has been, if you'll forgive the fatuous statement, my second favourite drummer. His performance on Dave Grusin and Lee Ritenour Live at the Record Plant was enough for me to realise he was one of the most musical, sensitive, buried-in-the-pocket drummers who had ever been. I come back to this DVD over and over again, many years after I first saw it.

He gained the greatest exposure as James Taylor's drummer, up until his death in 1998, and plays beautifully on the album "Hourglass" and on the double CD James Taylor Live.

Some quotations:

"Carlos was one of those guys who, if we were cutting with a click, never in a million years would you know there was a click track...He could weave around it in such a cool way that if never felt stiff. Where other guys feel metronomic, Carlos felt fluid and musical" - Lee Sklar.

"I marveled at the incredible contrast of his lightness of spirit compared with his thunderous, precise groove. I felt that we could always rely on him to find the pocket. To this day, I marvel at his playing. When we lost Jeff, I took some small solace in that there would always be Carlos. What a fool I was..." - George Massenburg

Paul Quin 11-13-2006 02:41 PM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
I couldn't agree more. Carlos was one of the greatest drummers of our era - sensitive, funky, melodic, powerful and just so damn tasteful. I am grateful that he left us with so much great playing.

Paul

kaseli 11-16-2006 02:57 AM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
I'm happy to say that I stole a lick of Carlos' that I absolutely love. Every drummer under the sun can play it and, if used properly, is the most musical ever.

Check it out on the James Taylor album "Live", the song is "Handyman", the lick is an open hihat roll 1 minute and 28 seconds into the song.

Beautiful!!

Thanks Carlos.

Womble 11-16-2006 02:12 PM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
Hell yeah, Kaseli, I know exactly the bit you mean. There's more feel and taste in like 3 bars there than other drummers display in a lifetime. It is often said that Jeff was the master of the hi-hat but I think the title should probably belong to Carlos. In the Live From The Record Plant DVD he does some amazingly perfect hi-hat flurries, especially in Harlequin.

jordanz 11-16-2006 11:37 PM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
I know he committed suicide. Does anyone know his story?

Womble 11-17-2006 02:53 AM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
He took his own life with a shotgun the night before a scheduled TV appearance with James Taylor. Apparently he hadn't been sleeping well during their last tour, but I've not heard any exact information as to his mental state. Mike Shaprio had played with Carlos a lot, and all he said to me was, "Carlos had a lot of problems, man".

Laurent 11-17-2006 09:32 AM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
Beautiful drummer. A groove master. My friend David Garfield has been organizing a "Carlos Vega Birthday Memorial Concert" since 1998.... This year, it'll take place on 9 December. Check out www.creatchy.com for more information.

I am friends with some of Carlos' close friends and they all are very discreet as for the reasons why he took his life... I surely miss his playing.

I attended this gig in 2001 and it was pure magic. L.A.'s top cats are always there... Superb gig.

Womble 11-17-2006 07:58 PM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Laurent (Post 239212)
Beautiful drummer. A groove master. My friend David Garfield has been organizing a "Carlos Vega Birthday Memorial Concert" since 1998.... This year, it'll take place on 9 December. Check out www.creatchy.com for more information.

I CANNOT believe I spent a year in LA and never heard about these concerts; I only found out about them once I'd come home. They really do seem to feature the cream of LA talent. Man would I like to see Vinnie and Steve Lukather on one small stage! What's particularly irksome is they seem to take place at LaVeLee, and I went there all the time to see Shapiro play.

Womble 11-17-2006 08:03 PM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
Does anyone have any Karizma records with Carlos, and if so, which would they recommend?

wy yung 01-17-2007 07:14 PM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
Carlos Vega, man I am still so sad about his end. His playing could send chills up my spine.

DAMN!!! :-(

Paul Quin 01-29-2007 08:27 PM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTbSzqzr6lg

A great clip of the man playing with Grusin. I have long struggled to fully describe Carlos' playing and why it is that it I find it so appealing. Leaving aside his technical competence and his power and dynamics, I think I love his playing because of its sensitivity. You can really hear that on this Grusin classic.

I also love this video for Abe Laboriel - grooving away like a superstar.

Paul

Womble 01-29-2007 11:00 PM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
Awesome, thanks Paul. I've been frequently searching for Carlos on youtube, waiting for someone to upload more of the Record Plant concert, and now here it is. And unusually for youtube, I agree with all the comments! Great to see Carlos getting some respect.

If only everyone on DW would watch this video.

Incidentally, does anyone know what happened to Larry Williams? Again it was the reticent Mike Shapiro who just told me that Larry was 'having some problems'; someone else mentioned a drink issue...anyone know?

KzSgDrummer 01-30-2007 02:42 AM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
Thanks a ton for that link! I've only seen him in random places on Youtube like maybe on a Jarreau or Boz Scaggs song, so it was great to see him in a jazz setting, something I'd never seen before. He's fast becoming one of the drummers I most respect.

However, I gotta say - gosh he sounds a ton like Gadd... I know it was impossible to escape his influence, but man that cowbell and his main crash next to his hihat sound identical to Steve's equipment!

thiscocks 02-21-2007 11:41 AM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
Prob my joint fave drummer with porcaro and weckl. Love his stuff he did with grp especialy the '88/89? live recording with ritenour. Some amazing stuff on there. Also love his playing on 'Urban day dreams' for David Benoit, especially track 5 with cool fills towards end. If you really want to hear his best playing though I reccomend 'Banana Fish' by Don Grusin. 'Goodbye' is one of my all time fave drum tracks. The fill on the last track 'Bettys Jetty' towards the end before the baritone sax comes in is prob one of the best ive heard in a song, taste full/works with the song/amazing...Anyone else got this album?

Tim

sshu 02-24-2007 03:02 AM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
Does anyone know whether Carlos Vega ever regularly taught drums in Chicago? I was trying to trace down one of my instructors (and I did not know his name), but I recall that he played drums on the track Gloria by Laura Branigan. It looks like Carlos played on that track, but I find it hard to believe that I would have taken lessons from him ...

Steve

Paul Quin 02-28-2007 11:53 PM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
With respect to the youtube clip I attached above, Grusin is playing a song called Mountain Dance and Carlos just nails what is a very complicated groove. I do not know who played on the original studio version of this tune but it sounds like Gadd (but I could be wrong). The reason I mentioned it was there was a thread recently about a forum member who was fired from his band. I recently read that David Garibaldi was once hired by Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin and was fired after a couple of days of rehearsal for being unable to nail the "ass backwards" groove of Mountain Dance. I thought that was interesting - not least of all because Garibaldi is quite simply a monster player and it takes some hubris to admit such a fact. It just increases my respect for Garibaldi and for Carlos.

Peace to all

paul

Laurent 03-01-2007 12:23 PM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Womble (Post 239375)
I CANNOT believe I spent a year in LA and never heard about these concerts; I only found out about them once I'd come home. They really do seem to feature the cream of LA talent. Man would I like to see Vinnie and Steve Lukather on one small stage! What's particularly irksome is they seem to take place at LaVeLee, and I went there all the time to see Shapiro play.

I attended the 2001 gig and saw Vinnie and Luke together. Will Kennedy was the main drummer that year.

Laurent 03-01-2007 01:34 PM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Womble (Post 239378)
Does anyone have any Karizma records with Carlos, and if so, which would they recommend?

I have them all and I'd recommend to start with "Cuba" which is my favourite. They are all similar and close in quality though. Then I'd go with "Dream Come True", "Live" and "Forever In The Arms Of Love".

You might want to check Carlos superb playing on David Garfield & Friends' "Music From The Riding Bean". You can find my review of this album at http://www.davidgarfield.com/review_ridingbean.php

Los Lobotomys' first album features Carlos with Jeff Porcaro and Vinnie Colaiuta and is a fusion must-have.

All these records are available at www.creatchy.com

thiscocks 03-19-2007 04:55 PM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Quin (Post 281685)
With respect to the youtube clip I attached above, Grusin is playing a song called Mountain Dance and Carlos just nails what is a very complicated groove. I do not know who played on the original studio version of this tune but it sounds like Gadd (but I could be wrong). The reason I mentioned it was there was a thread recently about a forum member who was fired from his band. I recently read that David Garibaldi was once hired by Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin and was fired after a couple of days of rehearsal for being unable to nail the "ass backwards" groove of Mountain Dance. I thought that was interesting - not least of all because Garibaldi is quite simply a monster player and it takes some hubris to admit such a fact. It just increases my respect for Garibaldi and for Carlos.

Peace to all

paul

Harvey mason plays on the studio rec of mountain dance.

Paul Quin 03-19-2007 06:28 PM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by thiscocks (Post 289264)
Harvey mason plays on the studio rec of mountain dance.


You are right. I actually checked this out recently and meant to come back and correct my prior post. In any event, it is some seriously sensitive and complex playing. And, I think Harvey and Gadd are due pretty close to equal amounts of respect.

Paul

skreg 04-22-2010 08:59 PM

Re: Carlos Vega
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Womble (Post 239378)
Does anyone have any Karizma records with Carlos, and if so, which would they recommend?

Get the album "Forever in the Arms of Love" - some of my favorite drumming on that album. I also picked up a copy of a really cool soundtrack from an anime with this lineup (basically Karizma) called "Music from Riding Bean."

Vocals by Phil Perry
Drums by Carlos Vega
Bass by Jimmy Johnson
Keyboards by David Garfield
Guitar by Mike Landau
Background Vocals: Phil Perry (section leader), Paulette Brown, Leslie Smith & Kate Markowitz

Now I have to see the anime! The soundtrack is killer!

I also really like the DVD he did with Lee Ritenour. You can really stop and analyze the long tom fills he liked to use if you want.


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