Tito Carillo – Urbanessence (ENG review)

Tito Carillo – Urbanessence:

Here is the new album from trumpeter Tito Carrillo. If you love jazz and lively Cuban rhythms, you’ll be served well. As he is probably unknown in Europe, here is an excerpt from his biography:
Tito Carrillo is a trumpeter, composer, and educator whose music blurs the lines between Afro-Caribbean music traditions and modern jazz. Born and raised in Austin, TX, by a Puerto Rican father and Mexican-American mother, Carrillo came to prominence in the mid-nineties of Chicago’s rich jazz and Latin music scenes, becoming a top call soloist, sideman, and bandleader. The Chicago Tribune describes him as having “acquired a reputation as a fluid improviser, doubly blessed with a warm lyric style and technique to burn.” The artists he has collaborated with are as diverse as his skill set: Chicago heavyweights Willie Pickens, Ryan Cohan, and Geof Bradfield; Chicago Latin groups Chinchano (Juan Pastor) and the Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble (Victor Garcia); big bands such as the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, and the Smithsonian Masterworks Orchestra (David Baker); salsa legends Andy Montañez, Cheo Feliciano, and Cuban flutist Orlando “Maraca” Valle; jazz greats such as Kurt Elling, Claudio Roditi, Jon Faddis, and Paquito D’Rivera; and pop icons Quincy Jones and Phil Collins. He released his debut solo album in 2011, entitled Opening Statement (Origin Records), to rave reviews, and his next solo project Urbanessence (Origin Records), will be released on October 21st, 2022.
I admit, it’s a bit long, but it helps to place this artist on the jazz galaxy and understand why his compositions are so elaborate. Undoubtedly, Tito Carrillo delves into an introspection of Cuban music that seeps deep into the arrangements, so that the ethnic-cultural aspect becomes nothing more than seasoning for compositions with highly exciting alchemy, making Tito Carrillo a unique artist, recognizable from the first note.
From my point of view, this is one of the most important albums on the jazz scene that marks the beginning of 2023. As you know, we receive tons of albums per week at Bayou Blue Radio, so a CD has to be particularly remarkable to attract our attention. On Urbanessence, there is something to listen to, reflect on, laugh or dance to. This is the essence of art when it is successful: to make our emotions vibrate. It is difficult to separate one track from another, as the whole work is an easy-to-access masterpiece, despite being a bit intellectual. The most amusing part is undoubtedly the beautiful energy that reminds me of the great jazz concerts I used to film for international TV agencies, particularly Miles Davis…
The musicality that comes out of this album is so great that we almost put the album cover in the “Essential” category without labeling it, which would have been a shame. Fortunately, the teams at Paris-Move and Bayou Blue Radio have come to their senses…

Thierry Docmac
Correspondent in USA
Bayou Blue News – Bayou Blue Radio – Paris-Move

PARIS-MOVE, March 30th 2023


Order the record HERE

Carillo’s Website