The Paul Carlon Octet: Roots Propaganda (2008)
For his sophomore effort as a leader, multi-reed player Paul Carlon has found quite an interesting project. Roots Propaganda retains most of the musicians from his debut, Other Tongues (Deep Tone, 2006), and also the impression that each track represents a totally different shade of Latin jazz. Although only two albums have been released, the octet has been playing together for the past six years.
Carlon explains the meaning of the title Roots Propaganda in the liner notes: "Every Day we get bombarded with stuff. Roots music can be so hard to find in this online world...we need some propaganda for this kind of music." Carlon and his octet seek to recreate the way in which Duke Ellington sought to experiment with Latin jazz, and as a result, Roots Propaganda returns to the roots of classic jazz and Afro-Latin music. For example, Carlon incorporates Cuban Timba, a contemporary sub-genre in which funk music can be expressed.
Originally from upstate New York and a graduate of Cornell University, Carlon has since spend time living and writing in Brazil, and his version of Baden Powell and Vinicuis de Moraes' "Canto de Xango" is a good illustration of this. Most of the remaining tracks are originals, featuring the twin trombones of Mike Fahie and Ryan Keberle, the insinuating drum work of William "Beaver" Bausch, the vocals of Guadaloupe native Christine Durandy and the trumpet of Dave Smith. Pianist John Stender seems to leaps into full tilt salsa whenever given the chance.
Roots Propaganda is just another footstep that bandleader/composer Paul Carlon has taken on his musical journey.
Track Listing: Backstory; Canto de Xango; Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out; Mambo pa' Kanoa; New Life The Limiter; Ochun; Moro Omim Ma; The Most Beautiful Thing; Roots Propaganda; Hard Times Killin' Floor Blues; Yorubonics.
Personnel: Paul Carlon: tenor and soprano sax, flute; Anton Denner: alto sax, flute; Ryan Keberle: trombone; Mike Fahie: trombone; William "Beaver" Bausch: drumset; Christelle Durandy: vocals (1, 8, 12); Max Pollak: rumbatap, body percussion, vocals (4, 7); Pete Smith: guitar (12).