Paul Carlon has been a part of the New York and Latin jazz for over fifteen years. He completed a Master’s in music composition at The City College of New York, and now teaches at the College of Staten Island. His performance credits are numerous and distinguished, too lengthy to list here entirely. Phil Woods, Arturo Sandoval, Chucho Valdes, Giovanni Hidalgo, and Steve Turre are some of the jazz luminaries he has performed with.
The music on Other Tongues is a spicy blend of Jazz, Afro-Cuban, and Latin. Carlon has assembled an impressive octet, whose members fire on all cylinders. He uses the color palette at his disposal to maximum effect. The use of two trombones, especially when muted and growling is remarkably effective. Heana Santamaria, daughter of legendary percussionist Mongo Santamaria, provides vocalization and chant in a pleasing alto. Max Pollak pioneered Rumbatap, a mixture of tap, vocals and dancing, heard on "Rumbatapestry" and "Extraordinary Rendition." Search Youtube for "Rumbatapestry" to see an amazing video of Carlon’s Octet performing Rumbatap live. Buddy Terry contributes his steeped in blues tenor to "Street Beat" and trades solos with Carlton, one of my favorites on the disc. Other highlights include a moving piano solo by John Stenger on "Smada" and Carlon’s flute and Mbira (aka Thumb Piano) playing. Excellent sound quality provides icing on the cake for this enjoyable album.
Carlton has succeeded in combining a plethora of musical art forms, creating a lush atmosphere that both swings and energizes. Other Tongues is warmly recommended and we eagerly await Paul Carlon’s next release.