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 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. After finishing a degree in English Literature from Cornell University in 1991, Paul moved to NYC and became part of the thriving 90's straight ahead jazz scene, learning from elders and participating in all-night cutting sessions at Small's jazz club.
Paul joined bassist Phil Bowler's band Pocket Jungle in 1994, and by the late 90's was also working with Grupo los Santos and Cuban trombonist Juan Pablo Torres' quintet. Along the way he released his first album, Looking Up (1998), using Bowler's rhythm section and featuring a program of all originals. Paul began writing for larger ensembles as well, leading to his Octet releases (Other Tongues/2005 and Roots Propaganda/2008) and eventually to his Afro-Latin Billy Strayhorn tribute on Zoho Music, 2013's La Rumba is a Lovesome Thing. Paul's most recent release with his Trio is Tresillo, from 2017.
The Paul Carlon Trio was formed in the winter of 2015, when he was asked to put together a group for a regular Saturday brunch gig at Papasito restaurant in Upper Manhattan. Transferring the Sonny Rollins chordless trio concept to a Latin format, Paul decided to invite some friends to the gig 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 began drawing a loyal weekly following.
The core of Tresillo 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 and vocalists Jorge Maldonado and Christelle Durandy.