Saxophonist and composer Paul Carlon grew up in rural central New York and started started playing music in the 4th grade at school. Paul attempted to follow in the footsteps of his older string-playing siblings by taking cello lessons, but the instrument proved too ungainly to carry on the school bus, and the vibrant timbre and mystery of the sax called to him more. From there his experience with music was a mixture of schooled and self-taught.
Embodying the intimacy of the jazz trio and the hypnotic energy of Afro-Latin rhythms, the Paul Carlon Trio began as that rarest of birds in today's music world, an innovative improvisational group with a weekly gig. Inspired by Sonny Rollins' pioneering chordless trio, veteran NYC saxophonist Carlon formed the group in the winter of 2015, when he was asked to put together a trio for a regular Saturday brunch gig at Papasito restaurant in Upper Manhattan. Transferring the Rollins concept to a Latin format, Carlon decided to invite some friends to complete the lineup, and let their creativity take them wherever it could. Grammy-nominated conguero Wilson “Chembo” Corniel and young lion bassist Alex Ayala got the call, and the group developed a loyal weekly following.
The Trio completed its first tours of the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic US in 2016 and 2018, and released its first album, Tresillo, on Deep Tone Records in 2017. The core of the album is the Trio's innovative look at Afro-Latin music, its freewheeling improvisations, and the high octane level of the group's work. The controlled abandon that bleeds through every track references traditional Cuban and Puerto Rican rhythms, the classic jazz tenor trio, and the best of New York's contemporary Latin jazz scene. Several special guests are also featured, including tresero Benjamin Lapidus (a sideman on Andy Gonzalez' recent Grammy-Nominated album Entre Colegas) and vocalists Jorge Maldonado and Christelle Durandy.