June 2000

Rebeca Mauleon
Round Trip
Bembe Records

Rebeca Mauleon, known for her work with the likes of Tito Puente and the Machete Ensemble, impresses as pianist, composer and arranger on an album of mostly original material. Mauleon surrounds herself with a large ensemble that includes notables such as drummer Oracio "El Negro" Hernandez and percussionist Orestes Vilata. Her strong piano and the drumming are at the core of tunes like the title cut and "Songomania." Mauleon's jazz vocabulary is in evidence both as a player and composer throughout the disc. While "'Round Midnight" as a tango works, the other non-original, "I'll Take You There," seems somewhat out of place even on an album with as many fine varying flavors as Round Trip.

Originally published in June 2000

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