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Opa - Goldenwings CD (album) cover

GOLDENWINGS

Opa

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.05 | 5 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Latin America spreading its fusion Wings!

Just imagine Return to Forever mixing perfectly their first two Latin albums with their later fusion ones like Where Have I Known You Before, also a bit of Weather Report's more worldly fusion affairs (Mysterious Traveller and Tale Spinnin'), the result would be something very similar to the debut offering of Uruguayan band, Opa.

Hugo Fattoruso's keyboard playing, mainly Rhodes and synths, is highly reminiscent of Corea's style of playing, lot of elegancy and latin-esque grooves but you can add to it Zawinul's stunning atmospheres, all in all making Opa an incredible band from the keyboard point of view.

The rhythm section, as you should expect from a Latin American band, is formed by drums and percussion of the highest quality: Airto Moreira, Ruben Rada and Hermeto Pascoal. The bass is good typical fusion, entertaining grooves but not something stunning.

What about the compositions? The seven of them are excellent; some are more tranquil, like Paper Butterflies and Pieces, with dominant Rhodes and chilly vocals while others, such as Totem and Groove, are funkier and even have some cool wah-wah/talk box guitar.

Yeah I know, Opa is not incredibly inventive when it comes to Fusion, since: a) it's a rather accessible fusion style, though with a latin feel that makes it more exotic and b) for its time this may have been done already before (hence the already mention Return to Forever and Weather Report). But still, that doesn't take that this debut is a really fine Latin Fusion record with enough great musicianship and compositions, and it's far from being a fusion clone band.

4 stars: Highly recommended if you are a fan of the more accessible, less inventive, kind of fusion, as well as to fans of Latin-infused music and of Return to Forever (not Romantic Warrior-period) and Weather Report (Alphonso Johnson period).

The Quiet One | 4/5 |

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