Vinson Valega | Consilience

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Jazz: Mainstream Jazz Jazz: Post-Bop Moods: Featuring Drums
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by Vinson Valega

Chordless trio that suffuses a soulful approach with an airy aesthetic.
Genre: Jazz: Mainstream Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Jiminy Cricket Goes to the Go-Go Dance
1:07 $0.99
2. The Best Thing For You Would Be Me
5:40 $0.99
3. You're Nearer
2:56 $0.99
4. Stumble Monk
6:15 $0.99
5. Tide Pools
5:52 $0.99
6. Long & Wrong
5:49 $0.99
7. Blood Count
6:59 $0.99
8. Black Fire
8:24 $0.99
9. New Haven
7:57 $0.99
10. Fuggedaboutit
3:03 $0.99
11. Jiminy Cricket Goes to the Go-Go Dance (Reprise)
5:18 $0.99
12. You Must Believe in Spring
4:04 $0.99
13. Secret Love
5:19 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This New York City-based trio has been making music together since 2000, having played hundreds of gigs together. Although there is a definite repertoire from which they draw, each gig is an adventure, as the set list develops depending on the spirit of the moment. Usually, the set progresses from song to song with no breaks, as one member will suggest the next tune and off they go!

The songs on this CD represent just a small fraction of the band's repertoire, highlighting original songs by Vinson and Anton. Check out the various episodes that take place during Valega's "Long and Wrong," or the beautifully evocative "Tide Pools" by Anton. "Stumble Monk" is Vinson's ode to Thelonious Monk, while the transition from Irving Berlin's "The Best Thing for You Would Be Me" to Roger and Hart's "Your Nearer" is indicative of what happens in a typical set by this trio. Finally, Anton and Gary's duet in "You Must Believe in Spring," reveal each musician's mastery of his instrument. The sound that all three get from their instruments is truly beautiful.


Vinson grew up in a musical family near Washington, D.C., studying classical piano from age seven until switching to the drums when he was 12. He played drums for three years in the All-County Jazz Ensemble during high school and subsequently held the drum chair in the University of Pennsylvania Big Band during college.

After graduating from UPENN with a B.A. in Economics, Vinson came to New York City in the early 90's to study music at the New School in Manhattan, where he studied with Marvin "Smitty" Smith (of The Tonight Show Band) and Norm Freeman (of the New York Philharmonic).

Vinson has performed in many clubs in the New York Metropolitan area, including the Blue Note, Smoke, Sweet Rhythm, Jazz Gallery, 55 Bar, Birdland, Smalls, Cornelia Street Cafe, Cleopatra's Needle, and Trumpets of Montclair, NJ. An avid composer, Vinson also teaches privately and served on the staff of the Stanford Jazz Workshop in California from 1999-2001. He has toured throughout North America and Europe with his groups and others, and he appears on Matthew Fries' CD, "Song For Today" (TCB) and the Ganz Brother's release, "First Steps" (Extravaganza). Vinson also has three CDs out as a leader, "Live@147," "Consilience," and "Awake."

In addition, Vinson has also worked with or played alongside with many of the great musicians in jazz, such as Grover Washington, Jr., Dakota Staton, Clarke Terry, James Williams, Donald Brown, Harold Mabern, Jr., Jamil Nasser, Ron McClure, Bob Mintzer, Russell Malone, Peter Bernstein, Mark Turner, Terrel Stafford, Eric Alexander, Jim Rotundi, David Hazeltine, Joel Frahm, Dena DeRose, and Vincent Herring, among others.


Born in New York City in 1961, Anton Denner began playing the saxophone in 1974. After early studies with Lee Konitz and Joe Lovano, he began to freelance in the New York area in the early '80's, performing at The Village Gate, Visiones, The 55 Bar, Birdland , and many other venues.

Anton has also worked with or played alongside with many of the great musicians in jazz, such as Ray Charles, Rosemary Clooney, Clifford Jordan, Mel Lewis, Al Foster, Norman Simmons, Brad Meldau, Bill Carrothers, Larry Goldings, Terell Stafford, Dave Stryker, and Bill Stewart, to name only a few. Anton has also been a featured soloist at The Napa Valley Jazz Festival, the Istanbul Jazz Festival (with the NY Jazz Giants) and the LaVillete Festival in France (with the Bill Carrothers Trio).

Recorded work includes the critically acclaimed Bill Carrothers Trio CD, Ghost Ships, Happy Apple's, Blown Shockwaves & Crash Flow, and John McKenna's Apparition, to name only a few. As an educator, he has served on the faculty of the Stanford Jazz Workshop, and has been an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University since 1999.

Anton is married to Nicki Denner (, the Latin Jazz pianist and composer, and resides in Montclair, New Jersey.


Acoustic bassist Gary Wang has been living and playing professionally in New York for the past eight years. Growing up in the Boston and San Francisco areas, he studied classical piano for several years from the age of 6, but was more interested in playing guitar in local rock groups. As a young teenager, however, he became fascinated with jazz and switched to acoustic bass at age 17. While in high school, he competed twice in the Berklee School of Music High school jazz competition with the Andover High School small ensemble, winning 2nd place in 1989 and 1st place in 1990.

In 1991, Gary attended Columbia University. He graduated in 1995 magna cum laude with a B.A. degree in Computer Science. While in college, he studied classical bass with Linda McKnight of the Manhattan School of Music and played in some of the school classical and jazz ensembles. It was only after graduating from college, however, that he decided to
dedicate himself to pursuing jazz music full time.

Since 1995, Gary has worked with in the bands of T.S. Monk, Don Braden, Stanley Turrentine, Willie Williams, Dena DeRose, David Hazeltine, Jon Gordon, Matt Wilson, and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Ambassadors band, among many others. He has also worked with or played alongside with many of the great musicians in jazz such as, Steve Wilson, Eddie Henderson, Vincent Herring, Geri Allen, Mark Turner, Kenny Werner, Roy Hargrove, Nnenna Freelon, Dianne Reeves, Ben Monder, Patricia Barber, Jane Monheit, Eric Alexander, Bobby Watson, Howard Johnson, Ronnie Mathews, and Don Sickler, among others.

Gary has also appeared in many of the major venues in New York City, including Iridium, Sweet Basil, Jazz Standard, Birdland, Lincoln Center, and Town Hall, as well as many of the major clubs in other cities in the U.S., such as the Jazz Showcase in Chicago, The Kennedy Center and Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., and Yoshi’s in Oakland, among many others.

Gary has toured extensively with various bands in the U.S. and internationally, traveling to Europe, India, Canada, Japan, South America and the Middle East. He has played many of the major festivals in the world, including among others, Newport/JVC, Texaco, North Sea, Umbria, Montreal, Cork, Atlanta, Litchfield, Jazz Yatra in India and Montreux.

In 2002, Gary was selected, along with saxophonist Virginia Mayhew and drummer Allison Miller, to participate in a U.S. State Department Jazz Ambassadors tour. For seven weeks, the band toured many of the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union, such as Kazakhstan, Armenia, Belarus, and Ukraine, among others.

Gary’s recording credits include: T.S. Monk, Monk on Monk (Encoded Music) and Crosstalk (Encoded Music); Derek Bronston Group, Longing (Hacate) and Ebb (Labor Records); Mark Taylor, After Hours (Origin Arts) and the Sunny Jain Collective, As Is (NCM East).


More information about each musician can be found at:



to write a review

Ian Condry

Excellent, ground-breaking, and entrancing
The Vinson Valega Trio's "Consilience" is fabulous. Ranging from originals to standards, this band can swing and get funky. The associated web-based project is wonderful as well. Definitely picking up this CD and keep an eye on Valega's future albums as well.

Dan Rosenberg

Cookin' straight ahead jazz
Consilience is a strong album from beginning to end. It is obvious when listening to the music that the trio has played together for years. This CD is in my main jazz playlist in iTunes where I have listened to it many times.

Though less important to me than the music, I really appreciated the creative packaging and liner notes that came with the CD. I have revisited the interesting quotations printed inside, from many historical figures. This album is great to listen to and like too few other albums, goes beyond music alone.

Mark Sheinkman

Fabulous cd...almost as good as hearing the band live...
Fabulous cd...almost as good as hearing the trio live...