Thoughts is Carlos third album. The second one, El Flautista (The Flutist), had more of a Latin Jazz flavor. In contrast most of the music on Thoughts has a modern, smooth Jazz feeling to it.
The musicians on this album are different too. With Ruben Rodriguez, an experienced Salsa and Latin Jazz Bassist, Vince Cherico, who played with the likes of Tito Puente, Ray Barreto and Patato Valdes, on Drums and Colombian pianist Fidel Cuellar. A quartet format more suitable for the music on this CD.
This is a CD full of optimism; just take a look at the titles, "Don't Worry," "Storm of Love" and "Life is Great," but you can also hear that optimism in the upbeat, funky sounds of the music. The repetitive melody lines in some tracks like "Bluedo" makes them more accessible for non Jazz listeners.
The title track "Thoughts" feels like a Tango and has some of the most sensitive and brilliant playing on the album. The Latin feeling comes out on pieces like "No te apures (Don't Worry)" and "For You and Me," where Carlos seems more confident showing his improvisational skills with more flowing effortless solos.
Even though you can hear some influence of Dave Valentin in Carlos music, he is quickly developing his own voice. Carlos has a nice, clear tone and excellent phrasing. Listen to the solos on "Carlitos my son," "Don't Worry" and "Swift." Fidel Cuellar also contributes some delightful solos on "I see You Smile" and "For You and Me."
One of my favorites is "Storm of Love." On this track, every one has the opportunity to showcase their talents with Ruben taking the first solo on bass, followed by beautiful Carlos and Fidel solos, and complemented with an excellent work on drums by Vince Cherico.
We will be waiting for next step in the evolution of this excellent jazz musician.