The keyword in the title is Opa, the name of the much loved ‘70s Latin fusion outfit led by Uruguayan pianist Fattoruso. He deservedly has legend status on the back of both that group and later made vital contributions to the music of Airto Moreira, Milton Nascimento and Djavan. At the age of 75 he hasn’t lost any of his spark.

This new work is a consolidation of the vocabulary he carved out in his heyday, which, for the most part, is a post-Herbie funky electric sound fuel-injected by Afro-Brazilian rhythms. A well drilled ensemble bolstered by the presence of his gifted son Francisco on bass who performs adroitly on a set of originals that boast strong, soaring themes, lyrical interludes and percussive breakdowns with just the right flourish to catch the ear. Fatttoruso solos engagingly throughout and also resurrects one of his best ever songs, the vaulting samba ‘El Romance Del Sordo’ – a smart move.


Hugo Fattoruso, Y Barrio Opa (Far Out recordings)

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