Paul Carlon Octet - Other Tongues
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Paul Carlon Octet
Other Tongues
Deep Tone Records (www.paulcarlonmusic.com)

City College alum Paul Carlon (tenor sax, flute, mbira, composition, arrangement), who teaches at the College of Staten Island, has carved out a solid creative presence on the New York Latin jazz scene since the early 1990s, working such notables as Andy González, Clave y Guaguancó, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Giovanni Hidalgo, Juan Pablo Torres, Arturo Sandoval, Ileana Santamaría, Sonido Isleño, Steve Turre, Chucho Valdés, Yoruba Andabo, Phil Woods, and Harvie S.

Other Tongues, his second recording as a leader, features all Carlon originals, save one. He enlists Ileana Santamaría (Mongo's daughter, and leader of the orchestra that bears her name), a frequent collaborator, who lends her ethereal Afro-Cuban vocal signature on "Rumbatapestry," "The Spirit Calls" and "Smada" (Carlon's inventive arrangement of the classic Billy Strayhorn title, in a many textured, laid-back essay). He is an imaginative composer with a Jones for the big-band sound, coaxed forth in the improvisational crossfire of a solid octet setting. Sturdy backing takes the form of John Stenger's precise, ringing piano, a ringing, growling brass line (trumpet and paired trombones), and a tight rhythm section of bass and drums. Behold the joyous funk of "Street Beat" (with a shining guest stint by tenor saxophonist Buddy Terry) or "Boogie Down Broder" to get a flavor. At different moments, Cannonball Adderley, Mingus and Gene Ammons seem to be smiling over Carlon's shoulder as he brings fresh ideas to contemporary Latin jazz. - Michael Stone

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