"Mauleón demonstrates the passion and creative energy that maintain the Bay Area as a hotbed of Latin Jazz" – Jazz Observer
“A world-class pianist, composer and author” – Latin Beat
"One of the hippest band-leaders in Latin music today" – All Music Guide
“Fiery … One of San Francisco’s best pianist/arrangers” – Utne Reader
“Visceral, tumbao-style piano” – Billboard
"Mauleón is a monster musician with enormous talent to spare" – Latin Beat
“A talented performer” – Phillip Elwood, S.F. Examiner
“The next big thing in Bay Area Latin Jazz” – East Bay Express
“An outstanding performer, composer and arranger” – L.A. Jazz Scene
“A wonderful technician with a sparkling approach” – Express
"Damn, this is good. Mauleón, the author of the classic instruction book The Salsa Guidebook, has put on a show on how to make a modern descarga record. She’s backed by the best of the West Coast Latin scene, including icons like Armando Peraza and Orestes Vilató, along with Giovanni Hidalgo and the Cuban drummer Jimmy Branly. Mauleón makes it all work, supplying tumbaos that drip with sudden, unexpected modern harmonies, and changing the dynamics of the tunes, dropping the volume of her piano, and laying out at times. She’ll add horn punches with two-handed chords, then move back into the tumbaos; it makes the whole thing sound improvised, but full, and thoughtful – she’s listening, orchestrating on the spot. Hidalgo sounds great - listen to him on the opening track - and Francisco Torres, the trombonist, etches out some relaxed, expressive improvisations. This is a classic descarga, epic at times, open, modern and loose. It’s also well recorded. Highly Recommended.”
-- Peter Watrous, May 20, 2006, Descarga.com.
"Descarga en California offers the best of both worlds. The music is familiar, like home, and yet the performances are so daring that one can't help but feel that they are hearing comparsa for the first time. Though the disc is noticeably void of piano solos, which seems strange at first, Mauleón certainly makes her presence known. She has a swing and grace to her style that is unmistakable, the spine of the band. Percussionists Armando Peraza, Orestes Vilató and Giovanni Hidalgo supply more than enough mind bending, time shifting solo phrases to make up for the lack of showing off on the part of the band leader. With an unmistakably West Coast taste for backbeat, the priority of every tune is the pocket, an unwavering groove, cut deep by Cuban drummer Jimmy Branly. Every single tune twists and winds it's way to top-of-the-lungs coro-shouting intensity before fading out, in true descarga style. The arrangements are smart and tasty, with the confident touch of an artist who has nothing to prove, just wanting to make truly good music. The soloists, on the other hand, play with reckless abandon, like they have nothing to lose. It is exactly her ability to find this balance that distinguishes Mauleón as one of the hippest band-leaders in Latin music today. Latin music fans can only hope that there's a lot more where Descarga en California came from."
-- Evan C. Gutierrez, All Music Guide