Sosa wrote all of the music of Mulatos, and even though the instrumentation remains the same, he attains numerous shades and voices from his group. For instance, "Ternura" percolates throughout with the rippling energy of drummer/producer Steve Argüelles as each of the instruments briefly joins in until the the middle section introduces the tension of opposing meters. On the other hand, "La Tra" Renaud Pion changes to the bass clarinet and contrabass clarinet to deepen the textures of the song with its call-and-response structure, emphasized by Aziz Arradi’s chants, and based on rumba percussion. "L3zero" combines funkiness, expressed by Sosa’s use of marimba and piano and sampling, with the reassurance of Pion’s clarinet for the contrast of clip-clopping drumbeat with the overlay of Pion’s easy melody. Then, "Iyawo" seeps into the listener’s consciousness as a meditation, Sosa’s single-note upper-register work playing against Dieter Ilg’s bass and Argülles’ minimalistic drumming. Mulatos is at its most unpredictable and original when it mixes the influences of numerous world cultures, as when Sosa sets up the motive of "Dos Caminos" as if it were European classical, until Dhafer Youssef enters on oud and Phillippe Foch on tabla; then the piece takes on a middle Eastern, and then with Pion’s clarineting, an Eastern European flavor. No matter how propulsive or ruminative the piece, Sosa’s piano playing remains understated and controlled, and his interests appear to be more in the group’s execution of his compositions than in showcasing his instrumental abilities.
Mulatos is a CD that doesn’t fit into any category, which is a good thing. Rather than being "Latin" or "world music" or "jazz," Mulatos instead is an expression of Omar Sosa’s humanity as he continues to absorb influences while remaining rooted in his spiritual beginnings in Cuba.