At the age of 16 Hugo moved to the upright bass and began his tenure as the under-aged member of The Hot Blowers, a swing band that toured throughout Latin America in the late 1950s. This period could be seen as a second important milestone in Hugo’s harmonic education, hammering home the concepts of improvisation and musical interplay.
By the early 1960s, rock’n’roll began to shake the world’s foundation, and Hugo set out to express himself in that medium by forming Los Shakers, where he and his brother shared song writing, singing and guitar responsibilities. Los Shakers were a huge success throughout Latin America, as they were able to mold the complexities of bossa’s harmonies, Uruguay’s urban song style, candombe rhythms and the backbeat of rock into a new and contagious form.
By the late 1960s the influence of jazz, and of the Afro-Uruguayan rhythm of candombe, took Hugo to New York City, where he formed the group Opa. In Opa Hugo played keyboards and sang, while his brother played drums, and childhood friend Ringo Thielmann played bass. Opa’s mixture of jazz, rock, Brazilian harmonies and rhythms, and Uruguay’s African-flavored music (candombe) gave this band a distinctive voice, and garnered them recognition among musicians in the then growing "Latin jazz" scene. Opa released two albums on their own, Goldenwings and Magic Time. Opa’s music served to influence the next generation of Uruguayan musicians, continuing the Fattoruso’s impact on Uruguayan musical culture. From that point on Hugo travelled the U.S. and worked with a variety of artists.» (bigworldmusic)
«In 1997, it came as a quite a surprise when Fantasy reissued Opa’s albums Goldenwings (1976) and Magic Time (1977) on a single 74-minute CD – surprising because this fusion trio had only a very small following; its albums were far from big sellers, and the original LP versions were in print for only a few years. If one notices some similarity between the melodic blend of jazz, rock, funk, pop and Brazilian music heard on this disc and Airto Moreira’s CTI dates of the 1970s, it’s no coincidence – Moreira produced and played percussion on both albums. Opa members Hugh Fattoruso (keyboards, vocals), George Fattoruso (drums, vocals, percussion) and Ringo Thielmann (bass, vocals) often worked with the percussionist and his wife Flora Purim in the 1970s, and his influence clearly rubbed off. It’s regrettable that Opa was never as commercially successful as either Moreira or Purim, although this CD points to the fact that it wasn’t due to a lack of rewarding material». (AMG)
Many thanx to Blbs (see pic) for this post.
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