Fusing Candombe (traditional rhythm of Uruguay) with rock, jazz, funk and other Latin American rhythms, Opa created a distinctive Afro-Uruguayan voice
within the global jazz vernacular, influencing a generation of musicians throughout the seventies and beyond. During the eighties Fattoruso moved to
Brazil, where he continued to work and record with Brazilian artists including Milton Nascimento, with whom he composed the World Music Grammy winning
Nascimento album in 1997. Fattoruso also famously collaborated extensively with Airto Moreia, arranging and playing on a plethora of hit records including
Fingers and I’m Fine, How Are You. More recently Fattoruso’s music has been sampled by the likes Flying Lotus
With such a prolific career, Fattoruso’s relative obscurity seems odd. Uruguay is dwarfed on either side by Brazil and Argentina, and while geography
may have something to do with it, Hugo’s own elusiveness may also explain why someone so influential has been hitherto, so underappreciated. A
deeply humble figure, never settling for too long in any one place, Hugo has dedicated his life to music and little else. It has taken twenty years
for Far Out to track down the man behind Golden Wings and Magic Time, and it wasn’t until label boss Joe Davis met a Uruguayan producer (over one
too many artisanal beers) at a world music conference in Budapest, that he finally made contact with one of his musical idols.
Following a few internet meetings and some very long impassioned conversations about Hugo’s life, music and mutual musical friends in Brazil, Hugo
began writing the new album, and Joe booked a seat on the next flight to Montevideo. Recorded at the state of the art Sondor Studios in Montevideo’s
iconic Barrio Sur district, the album features some of the world class musicians at the forefront of today’s Uruguayan jazz scene, including Hugo’s
son Francisco Fattoruso on bass, Tato Bolognini on drums, Albana Barrocas on percussion and Nicolás Ibarburu on electric guitar. The album also
features the Candombe drumming of the legendary Silva brothers, Mathías, Guillermo
Diaz and Wellington, who give the album its Afro-Uruguayan identity, transporting the listener to Barrio Sur, the spiritual home of Montevideo’s
In Hugo’s own words “this is the sound of Opa today.” This is most prevalent on ‘Goldenwings’ the fresh take on the funk-fusion masterpiece which became
an underground hit in London jazz clubs in the 80s ’. The stripped back yet equally rip-roaring trio piece ‘Botijas’ is led by Hugo’s virtuosic
piano playing and hypnotic wordless vocals, and backed by an inventive, heavy grooving fusion of Latin rhythms from Tato Bolognini on drums. The
shining moments for the Silva brothers’ Tambor playing are ‘Candombelek’ - a beautifully moody Afro-Uruguyan groove with characterful rhodes and
vocal harmonies - and ‘Candombe Alto’, a carnival-esque track, awash with soaring synth lead, wah-wah guitar and pulsating keys.
Far Out Recordings are honoured to have had the opportunity to travel to Uruguay and work with a true hero of Latin American music. Hugo, his musicians
and everyone at Sondor Studios welcomed us with open arms. We were overwhelmed not only by the musical brilliance we found in Montevideo, but also
by the warmth and humility of everyone we met along the way.