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Jazz Rock/Fusion

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars Fusion from South America is not unusual. OPA is from Uruguay and this is their second album, released in the middle of the 70s, more or less when the most famous fusion band was WEATHER REPORT. But of course there are also a lot of traditional influences in their music, coming from both the sides of the Andes.

The album is opened by tribal percussion and a synth mimic of Pan flute, but after the intro the opening track changes drastically several times. it goes pop, then close to neo-prog until a proper fusion section arrives. It's when the singer shows his huge vocal skills reminding to Demetrio STRATOS. The track ends with a ridicolous choir repeating "rock and roll" which seems inspired by Frank ZAPPA.

It was in the Weather Report years, and the second track sounds similar to them, but the lead vocals, quite high- pithced, bring Al JARREAU to mind. It's a slow jazzy song, also this with some sudden changes, but not as much as the first.

Another vocal exercize on a samba tune mainly based on percussion. It's still in the vein of the Zawinul's band. The vocalist is the highligth, here.

My favorite album track: Montevideo, dedicated to their capital city. The reference here is the jazz of Pat METHENY. 8 minutes of light fusion including some comebacks of sounds from the previous tracks.

The last track is very melodic with electric piano and voice. The keyboard sounds quite weird. It's a typical 70s sound, pre-Yamaha DX7 I'd say, in the instrumental interludes. It's a very interesting song whit the sung parts very melodic alternated with instrumental parts on which the keyboardist had likely some fun. Unfortunately the last minutes of this track give the impression of an unneeded filler.

Anyway, it's a good jazz/fusion album from Uruguay. The B side in particular.

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Posted Thursday, June 27, 2019 | Review Permalink

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