Album Review of Cathlene Pineda's Rainbow Baby by Marc Louis-Boyard for Slow Culture

Cathlene Pineda, Rainbow Baby – ALBUM REVIEW #27

The first notes of Rainbow Baby instantly let us believe that keeping quiet about this album for long was an impossible mission. To be honest, at that time we didn’t know much about Cathlene Pineda despite her indisputable talent and extensive curriculum.

We first heard Cathlene’s music the exact same way we would have heard the music of an interesting stranger. Thanks to her vivid sense of communication and her generosity of spirit, we now hear Rainbow Baby the exact same way we would listen to the music of a friend.

And we really hope you will too.

Read now, or…

Send to Kindle

Cathlene Pineda, Rainbow Baby: our review

E.S.P. meets Speak No Evil

If Rainbow Baby were to be situated on a musical map, Cathlene Pineda’s third album would find its place between these two masterpieces (for a taste of E.S.P., find our previous article here).

Strong in their direction, and, paradoxically enough, the indomitable pieces presented by Cathlene have a precious sense of fragility, a sense of fragility warmed up by musicians gifted with an indefectible sense of conversation. Rainbow Baby is an album of stretched timing, in an agreeable, and still, inflexible way.

Picture of pianist Cathlene Pineda

Asserted delicacy

The enjoyable fragility we evoked at the last paragraph is magnified by Pineda’s delicacy, a delicacy that is bursting like thunder at the most unexpected moments. 

Carriers II (listen to this track below) illustrates this idea in its most significant manner. This song also contains some of the best drums work we’ve heard since Anthony Sánchez, paired with fine engineering which wouldn’t envy the works of Rudy Van Gelder (Blue Note’s iconic sound engineer) for a second.

Touching accessibility

On Slow Culture, we firmly believe that the most precious art forms have little merit or interest if they are not made accessible by enlightened spirits. 

Rainbow Baby is an accessible album, uncompromisingly thought and executed, made of musical references that are as necessary as they are beautifully assumed. Pineda’s music resonates without counterproductive ego. Pineda’s music resonates without the maddening, desperate need for “just something else”.

Cathlene Paneda - Rainbow Baby front cover
Art by Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon

Cathlene Pineda, Rainbow Baby

Available now on Orenda Records.


Cathlene Pineda piano and compositions

Kris Tiner trumpet
Tina Raymond drums
David Tranchina bass
John Baffa recording, mixing
Stephen Marsh mastering
Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon album artwork

About Cathlene Pineda:

Pineda has an MFA in jazz piano and composition from the California Institute of the Arts and a Bachelor of Music in piano performance with honors from the Mannes College of Music. She is a professor at Glendale Community College, and runs a private studio of piano and composition students. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their dog, and their two children.


Written by  Marc Louis-Boyard for Slow Culture

Stay updated on Facebook!
Get inspired on Instagram!
Show us some love on Twitter!
Feeling corporate? Cool, let’s play adults and network on LinkedIn.

Send to Kindle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.