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Hugo Fattoruso: Homework

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The Uruguayan Fattoruso, known for his work with the group Opa, sings and accompanies himself on guitar, keyboards, and accordion on these 14 cuts. The solo numbers are rounded out by tunes where Fattoruso’s friends and loved ones contribute percussion and additional guitars and vocals. His style reflects various influences: the music of Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay, rock, jazz, and a pronounced Brazilian thrust, particularly bossa nova and tropicalismo. All of these are distilled into a highly original sound, airy yet rhythmic and dense, that makes for a strongly appealing release. Fattoruso’s singing on the opener “Brisas,” (most of the songs have Spanish lyrics with English translation provided in the liner notes), has something of the hushed tones of Joao Gilberto’s vocals. “Milonga Blues” made me think of David Byrne and Tania Maria. The percussion on “El Gramillero” and “Melodia en Candombe” includes the chico, repique, and piano tambores, which make up the family of candombe drums. These drums hang from the shoulder and are played with a stick as well as the open hand.