A whimsical idea, conceptual in nature and packed with flavor
What if?...What if Billy Strayhorn was born in Havana? How would the arrangements of some legendary classics play with Yoruban chants, a tight horn section and the colors you can hear from the vibrant riffs on montunos, guaguancos, bombas, and rumbas? In keeping with the fine Latin tradition that is Zoho records, New York saxophonist Paul Carlon nails it!
"Take The A Train" this iconic tune based on the instructions Ellington gave Strayhorn on how to get to his Harlem home is built around an Afro-Cuban 6/8 rhythm synonymous with the subway train. Within the context of Delta Blues this is what blues men meant when they referred to making the train talk. "A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing" was flipped into a distinctive odd metered gem moving away from the original intent of an Argentinian zamba rhythm. "Chelsea Bridge" was a long time feature for the Ellington band and this reharm is a free formed riff featuring an old school cha cha cha outro that pulls everything together. Melodic twists and turns on a seemingly spiritual trip of rediscovering the music of Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington through high octane rhythms, dynamic lyrical solos and arrangements that border on the addictive be they odd metered or more straight ahead. A large Latin ensemble with a foot to the floor big band presentation.
This particular ensemble has been working with Paul Carlon for over a decade. La Rumba is a Lovesome Thing is a whimsical look at how some of the greatest music of a generation might have played out with a totally different lyrical twist. What makes this particular release memorable is not just one particular Latin influence but the masterful why in which Carlon always the music of Brazil, Puerto Rico, Peru, Colombia, Argentina and particularly Cuba guide the listener on an amazingly textured journey packed with flavor. Welcome to the land of rhythm and groove! A simple lyrical presentation brought forth with amazing complexity while never losing the accessibility of the melodies we know and love so well. Masterful!
Personnel: Paul Carlon: tenor sax, soprano sax, flute and arrangements; Anton Denner: alto sax, flute, piccolo; Alex Norris: trumpet; Mike Fahie: trombone 92,3,4,5,7,9,10); Mark Miller: trombone; Ryan Keberle: trombone (1,6,8); John Stenger: piano; Dave Ambrosio: acoustic bass; William "Beaver" Bausch: drumset; Christelle Durandy; vocals (1,2,4,7,9); Benjamin Lapidus: vocals and decima (1), tres (1,2,6,10); Wilson "Chembo" Corniel: congas (3,5,10); Obanilu Ire: barriles and maraca (6); Pedrito Martinez: vocals (1,2), congas (1,2,8) and bata (2).