Rebecca Cline has performed or recorded in the US and Caribbean with such artists as Giovanni Hidalgo, Pedrito Martinez, Paulo Braga, Romero Lubambo, Jerry Gonzalez, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Charles Neville, and Alex Acuña. In 2007 she received a CMA grant to compose a suite for her quartet entitled Clay, Iron, Water, based on Yoruban-derived Afro-Cuban ceremonial music.
In 2005 she performed at the Kennedy Center as a finalist in the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Piano Competition. Her piano playing and compositions can be heard on Enclave (Zoho Music), Somos Obbini Tumbao (Tumbadora), It Never Entered My Mind (Jon Hazilla) and Havaianas: Vida do Paraiso (Rambling).
Rebecca co-leads two bands in the Boston area: the Latin Jazz quartet, Enclave, with saxman and percussionist Hilary Noble, and the dance band, Obbini Tumbao—Latin Groove, with percussionist Anita Quinto. Rebecca is an Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music, where she teaches Ensembles and Piano.
Excerpts of reviews for Hilary Noble and Rebecca Cline--Enclave:
(For complete reviews, click on links following excerpts.)
"The playing is hard-hitting...Noble and Cline have technique to burn...[Noble] often recalls David Murray and Pharoah Sanders. Cline is harder to pin down, although a Latinate McCoy Tyner comes to mind."--March, 2006/ Owen Cordel, JazzTimes
"Good students. Noble studied sax with George Garzone and Yusef Lateef, but he also did extra credit in Afro-Cuban percussion, and he puts both to use here. Cline picked up her piano from Joanne Brackeen and Chucho Valdés, and she delivers the whole package—she's impossible to ignore, even in the background. Whereas most Latin jazz gravitates toward siesta, leave it to [Noble and Cline] to shake things up. A-."--February 17, 2006/ Tom Hull, Village Voice, villagevoice.com
"* * * * Recommended: While the Stuart Nicholson school of thought continues to look Eastwards for the future of our music, this writer is constantly drawn in the other direction – to New York, the melting pot for the fusion of music from the North and Southern Americas, never forgetting the important islands in between. Though still for many an acquired taste, unquestionably the most exciting and stimulating sounds come under the heading of Latin-Jazz. And the Zoho label is fast becoming the most important of the newer specialists.
This is such a refreshing record. The album title is a play on words and combines the artistes’ individual creative take on the music, while still staying within the strict tradition of the all important clave. Hilary Noble is yet another George Garzone student, who has spent much time learning percussion in Cuba. He is a stomping, storming tenor-player, a robust risk-taker in the vein of a more modern David Murray or Pharoah Sanders on the up-tempo “Once Eleven”, a simple theme played eleven times with eleven different harmonisations. His soprano work is equally passionate, almost vocal in its cry at times and his percussion tracks on the closer are terrific.
Cline is also a revelation. She has studied in Puerto Rico, Cuba (with the legendary Chico Valdez [sic]) and in New York with the musically outspoken Joanne Brackeen. At times she sounds like a Latin Geri Allen. A very rhythmic pianist. Her tour de force performance on the only standard tune (“You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To”) is absolutely stunning.
Huergo’s electric bass is also excellent on this track, while Langone is equally impressive throughout. The compositions by Noble and Cline, both jointly and individually, make this a really special album. Provocative, passionate playing over consistently stimulating tracks."-- February 1, 2006/ Tony Hall, Jazzwise Magazine [UK]
"Saxophonist Hilary Noble joined forces with pianist Rebeca (sic) Cline to record Enclave, with Fernando Huergo (bass) and Steve Langone (drums). Both Cline and Noble handle the composing dimension with excellent chemistry and enjoyable passages from beginning to end."--November 2005/ Nelson Rodriguez, Latin Beat Magazine
"Extraordinario cierre del Jazzfest en el Nuyorican Café del Viejo San Juan"-- Nov. 23, 2005/ Carlos A. Iramain, noctambulo.com
"Ever since the arrival of Machito and Mario Bauza in Spanish Harlem in the ’30s, New York has been a hotbed of Latin jazz activism, a vital corner of an artistic triangle cross-pollinated by African and Cuban cultures. Saxophonist/conguero Hilary Noble and pianist Rebecca Cline might not be the original mambo king and queen, but with their new release, Enclave, they’ve come up with hardy hybrid in the best tradition of jazz eclecticism: a mixing of Downtown ecstatica with south-of-the-border sensibilities."
"...At their CD release party at Cornelia Street Café last month, these musicians gave a spirited live rendition of the album, track for track, manifesting the interpersonal chemistry, collaborative individualism, and collective aché (positive vibes) that make this musical aggregation so much more than the sum of its partners. Enclave crosses new borders in Latin jazz, proving that things are often found, not lost, in translation."--Nov. 4, 2005/ Tom Greenland, AllAboutJazz.com
"Enclave gets my vote for the best jazz CD of the year. It's fun and intellectually challenging, flawlessly performed yet marked by a spontaneous elan. Best of all, this kind of free jazz/Latin jazz synthesis promises to open doors to other artists aiming for something other than recycled Machito."-- Oct. 4, 2005/ Norman Weinstein (ASCAP-Deems Taylor award winning critic, and author, A Night in Tunisia: Imaginings of Africa in Jazz), AllAboutJazz.com
Descarga Editor's Pick: "Here’s a fine modern Latin jazz record, one that owes a ton to contemporary Cuban jazz playing. Cline, the pianist in the group, and Noble, the saxophonist and percussionist, float over the electric bass of the bassist Fernando Huergo; they work through montunos, and even take on a standard — You’d be so Nice to Come Home To — that isn’t Night in Tunisia, or Take the A Train. The writing from the group is uniformly excellent, and the recording is unquestionably a hint of what’s to come in jazz. Highly Recommended." --Sept. 22, 2005/ Peter Watrous, descarga.com
"Kudos right away to Rebecca Cline's piano mastery, and her unusual use of the wondrous harmonies associated with our beloved jazz idiom. The standard ''You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To'' is definitely an 'outside' take of this great cover, delivered most capably by Cline's prowess and musical imagination. Cline's harmonic and melodic lyricism emerges with a constant yet seemingly unstoppable flow of ideas. Rebecca and her talented musical partner, reedman Hilary Noble deliver their music still with an essential simplicity that allows us their interested and edified listeners to be instructed in the ways of jazz. And, this disc is an argument for us to never stop that eternal quest to learn more about the idiom we love so much."--George W. Carroll/The Musicians' Ombudsman, ejazznews.com
"Fiery and pulsating, this exhilarating set by Hilary Noble and Rebecca Cline blends the rhythmic excitement of Cuba and Brazil with adventurous post bop and free jazz. He is a multi-instrumentalist, playing tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, flute and an array of percussion instruments; she plays piano. Both are interesting composers, having written, mostly together, all save one of the tunes on this set. Hilary and Rebecca are ably supported by bass player Fernando Huergo and drummer Steve Langone. Dramatic, intense and burning with inner fire, this is music that makes the listener sit up and pay attention." --Bruce Crowther
"Son 60 minutos de energía y buen jazz con buenas intervenciones de los solistas. Tanto Hilary Noble como Rebecca Cline presentan su mejor trabajo discográfico hasta el momento." --Elmer Gonzalez, Radio Universidad WRTU 89.7