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Round Trip

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Album Review

For her debut CD, San Francisco-based pianist Mauleon has put together a helluva band, with the timbales master Orestes Vilato, trumpeters John Worley and Louis Fasman, trombonist Jeff Cressman, bassist David Belove, drummer Paul VanWageningen, saxophonist Alex Murzyn, and on select tracks, the wonderful flute player John Calloway, baritone saxophonist Melecio Magdaluyo, and drummer Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez. Mauleon also plays percussion instruments, but is primarily on acoustic piano for these ten cuts, eight of which she wrote. Her touch is medium-light, dramatic when called upon, quite steady and consistent, especially in the montuno area, and highly melodic. There are four outstanding original instrumental pieces. The introductory "Songomania" is a very hip, singing horn melody with riveting flute, piano, and trombone solos as a prelude for a montuno allowing Vilato to cut loose. "Fresa y Chocolate" is a heavier horn chart with Magdaluyo's bari added, a funkier cha-cha, and a feature for Fasman's rip-it-up trumpet. The best of the bunch, "Congri" has repetitive horn lines, more of Calloway's determined flute excursions, and a fresh sound that leaps out of the speakers. The title track is a hotter horn chart, letting Hernandez and Worley fly. All of these are great examples of Mauleon's talent as a writer and bandleader. Of the remainder, a lovely version of "'Round Midnight" with Calloway leading; Murzyn's flute on the flamenco-informed "Gitana"; and the nature lover's piano piece "New Dawn" add contrast. Further, there are two quite different vocal cuts, one being a take on the Staple Singers hit "I'll Take You There" with El Negro and lead singer Brenda Boykin, and Boykin leading a chorale in a Afro-Cuban gospel fusion for "At the River," using the line "one foot in Africa, one foot in Cuba, one hand in Brasil, the other in America." This CD shows more than promise, it is the beginning of a new star rising on the Latin jazz scene, and from all indications, Mauleon has just scratched the surface. Can't wait to hear her next effort. Highly recommended. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Rebeca Mauleon

Esto esta bueno! Beautifull & unique...I got it for my collection, thank u Rebeca keep up the good work and God bless u!


Genre: Latino

Years Active: '90s, '00s

An accomplished educator, producer, and performer, Rebeca Mauleón is one of the West Coast's leading Latin jazz talents. Mauleón began her performance career accompanying well-known jazzers like Steve Windwood and Carlos "Patato" Valdez. Mauleón earned a reputation as an up-and-coming arranger via her work on Tito Puente's Goza Mi Timbal, Windwood's Junction Seven, and Valdez's Ritmo y Candela. As her credits grew to include stints with artists at the very top of the Latin music industry, like Israel...
Full Bio
Round Trip, Rebeca Mauleon
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