Louie Vega wanted to see all his friends at once. Here they are, an unexpected but pleasant surprise in this double CD released and distributed by Vega Records.

Do your roman numerals: a total of 28 tracks “starring” more than 25 collaborators make for a diverse and powerful album which, it turns out, is also Louie Vega’s first solo album.

The most astonishing thing is to think that most of these are rather new: a couple were released as album teasers (sometimes with nearly a dozen remixes) and on the whole this signifies the kind of creative flourish that few artists experience beyond their mid-20s. Among the “starring” artists here collaborating with Louie Vega are Monique Bingham (“Elevator [Going Up]”), South African vocalist Bucie (“Angels Are Watching Me”), N’Dea Davenport (“Magical Ride [Wave of Love]”), Victor Duplaix (“Gimme Some Love”), Kenny Bobien (“Together We Can”), Jocelyn Brown (“You Are Everything”), Lisa Fischer (“Do What You Gotta Do,” “Turned Onto You” [with Anane Vega] and “Stop On By” [with Cindy Mizelle]), Josh Milan (“Been Such a Long Time Gone,” “You’ve Got It Bad Girl” and “Joy Inside My Tears”), Byron Stingily (“Ain’t No Stoppin’ Love”) and Diviniti (“Everlasting Love”).

You can certainly see what the excitement is about: that’s not even HALF of the artists represented here, on an album that rises and falls on a diverse series of sounds from R&B, soul and jazz.

Louie Vega: Louie Vega Starring… XXVIII will be released on February 26 2016 on vegarecords.net.

Published first in 5 Mag Issue #127, February 15 2016

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