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coverpic flag Uruguay - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 21 - 07/09/98

Hugo Fattoruso
Big World Music

A musician of musicians, Hugo Fattoruso has been heard in several other recordings, particularly those in the Latin jazz genre. If you missed his appearances with Airto Moreira and Flora Purim, Ron Carter, Hermeto Pascoal, Naná Vasconcelos, Djavan, or Toninho Horta, you most likely did not miss his contribution in Mílton Nascimento's Grammy winning release entitled Nascimento. Now, Fattoruso presents us with this solo release, Homework.

It is no wonder that after having performed with Brazilian stars, the music of this Uruguayan-born keyboardist shows some Brazilian influences. The combination of Uruguayan urban songs, candombe rhythms, milonga, jazz, and bossa nova enriches Fattoruso's musical world. Homework is the result of this solid foundation. To add to this strong melodic basis, there are the lyrics that Fattoruso writes. Except for one composition by Laura Canoura, all other 13 tracks in this release were written by Fattoruso himself. Besides his instrumental virtuosity, we are also treated to his touching lyrics.

In the opening track, Brisas (Breezes), Fattoruso does all the vocals as well as the acoustic guitars and keyboards. Brisas is about a song that named a loved one. As one might expect, Fattoruso takes full advantage of his soft voice to gently tell us this story in music. A similar love story is also told in Conmigo (Along), but here Fattoruso's accordion solo adds a real taste of Uruguay to this enchanting melody. With Melodía en Candombe (Melody in Candombe), the various drums used in conjunction with Fattoruso's piano solo provide a contrast with excellent results. Melodía clearly has a bit of jazz vocalization with a spice of Latin rhythm. Continuing his use of natural phenomenon in his song writing, Fattoruso gives us Atardecer (Late Afternoon), another sublime love poem. His vocals and keyboard work combine in a perfect match. This is a haunting and rich melody with a mystical feeling. Changing from the introspection in Atardecer, Todo Você (All You) is a lively Brazilian-flavored instrumental piece. When Fattoruso moves from soft to lively or from electronic to acoustic, he gives the listeners the best of both worlds. Whereas Septiembre Así (September Like This) definitely explores contemporary jazz influences, El Gramillero (The Gramillero) takes us back to candombe and its infectious drums.

Homework will please listeners who expect contemporary sounds with Latin influences. Fattoruso definitely shows here he has no problem getting his homework done well.

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