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First Vision

(Blue Truffle Music: 2015)

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First Vision has been featured as part of the All About Jazz's Contest Giveaway sweepstakes, and in their Download of the Day series. AAJ has also raved that the music on the album is "skillfully conceived, exquisitely realized, artfully orchestrated", and "breathes spontaneous creativity." They go on to say that it features "stellar trumpet work, intriguing tunes, and strong group chemistry,"  and hail it as "a stand-up-and-take-notice offering." They have even compared it to the music of Dave Douglas, Miles Davis' Nefertiti, John Zorn's Masada, and the Blue Note records of the early 1960s. ​​The album has received air-play throughout the east-coast on stations like 90.3 FM the Core, Weaa 88.9, and BreakThru Radio's show the Jazz Hole. It has since been adopted by the Blue Truffle Music record label.

album review of "First Vision"

 by Dan Bilawsky​

album review of "First Vision"

by Dan McClenaghan​

album review of "First Vision"

by ​Hrayr Attarian​


​Recorded on January 8th, 2012 at the Cutting Room Studios (NYC)

Released Sept. 1st, 2012 at Smalls Jazz Club (NYC)​​

Re-Released March 31st, 2015 on Blue Truffle Music, LLC record label 

All compositions by Jonathan Saraga

All artwork by Jonathan Saraga

Produced by Jonathan Saraga/Chris Devito


Jonathan Saraga - trumpet/flugelhorn

Colin Gordon - alto saxophone

Peter Park  - guitar

Jeff Dingler  - bass

Gusten Rudolph - drums


1. Guidance (11:34)

2. Rebellion (5:43)

3. Recurring Dream (4:44)

4. Wandering Child (8:04)

5. Rampant Teddy Bear (7:14)

6. The Reiki Practitioner (6:52)


"...a skillfully conceived and exquisitely realized debut that brings to mind the edgy, envelope-pushing hard bop of many a Blue Note record in the early 1960s."

-All About Jazz

"...a rare blend of individuality and maturity."

-All About Jazz

"The music, all Saraga-penned, has an uncommon freshness coming from a 24 year-old artist who is well on his way to forming his own compositional voice."

-All About Jazz

"First Vision isn't the stuff of amateurs on the brink of musical maturity, it's a stand-up-and-take-notice offering."

-All About Jazz

"First Vision shouldn't be measured as a debut; it deserves to be judged only on its bountiful merits, which include stellar trumpet work, intriguing tunes and strong group chemistry."

-All About Jazz

"At times, Saraga's music can exhibit a wandering, nomadic, Klezmer-influenced sound that further cements the (Dave) Douglas connection via that trumpeter's work with John Zorn's flagship Masada."

-All About Jazz


“This is engaging, tuneful, urgent modern jazz played at a very high level by young, masterful musicians."

-Jimmy Greene

"An excellent debut recording as a leader for Jonathan Saraga. Highly creative playing and writing throughout the CD, all done within a strong and fresh ensemble concept."

-Jon Gordon

"Jonathan has always impressed me and this recording helps lay a foundation for what I know will be a great career. Check it out!"

-Scott Wendholt

"Jon's new recording is a splendid collection of originals which features some fine young musicians."

-Charles Blenzig


"First Vision" is more than a collection of songs; it is a musical documentation of many different states of consciousness that have emerged in order to further understand themselves; apparently, through the perception of all who will listen.

Concurrently, upon writing these specific pieces, I chose to become more familiar with these states of consciousness, and in so doing, as I reflected on and studied the various experiences, realizations, feelings, thoughts, and in some cases, sonic ideas that were not influenced by any specific preconceived notion or set parameter, the pieces as they have been documented, came to be. This creation has no beginning and no end, thus the music here has not culminated, but has landmarked itself, as evident on this very recording.

The compositions that comprise this album were written from a place of truth, and I believe that we, as individuals and as a group, have captured the essence, importance, and intent that these songs carry with them. Of course, as with any experience, the mind adds it's own interpretation and perception of an event, as a means of understanding. This album is no different, in that it serves as an audio snapshot, of us, as individuals, and as a group, expressing ourselves through our instruments, based around our own experiences, and our own perceptions. It is a portrait of our mental, emotional, and physical states of being at the time; exposing truth, and revealing a glimpse into the human condition through art, as it may be recognized.

As with any art form, there are elements of improvisation, and each composition here has portions of it that are catered to improvisation, which add spontaneity, conversation, and interaction, as well as in-the-moment decisions that have provided the music a means of metamorphosis, and have added to it's overall shape and energy.

In addition to all of the songs from "First Vision" being all original, the artwork featured throughout the physical album's wallet, is as well. You will find drawings on every side of the wallet, including on the inside, based on the stories and entities presented within the music.

"First Vision" is also self-produced, and self-funded.  The funds that went toward the costs of recording, mastering, duplication, and many other marketing, and distribution expenses is all out-of-pocket.  If purchasing an album, or any other merchandise album related is not an option for you at this time, any contribution you can afford is greatly appreciated. The money you offer will be put toward the efforts of my group and our music.

First Vision Personnel, L-R:   Jeff Dingler, Colin Gordon, Jonathan Saraga, Gusten Rudolph, Peter Park

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