Although Opa made some exciting contributions to Brazilian jazz in the 1970s and had a strong supporter in percussionist Airto Moreira, the South American trio never took off commercially. Opa was founded in 1969 by Uruguayan keyboardist/pianist/singer Hugo Fattoruso (b. Jun. 26, 1943, Montevideo, Uruguay), who recruited drummer George Fattoruso (his brother) and bassist Ringo Thielmann. Opa moved from South America to New York in 1970, and their Manhattan gigs soon caught Moreira's attention. Opa became Moreira's rhythm section and was employed on his second CTI album, Fingers, in 1973, and Hugo Fattoruso later appeared as a sidemen on other 1970s albums by Moreira and his wife, singer Flora Purim. Unfortunately, Moreira's popularity didn't rub off when he produced Opa's two LPs Golden Wings (1976) and Magic Time (1977). Neither sold, and Opa broke up in the early 1980s without ever recording a third album. Hugo Fattoruso soon moved to Brazil, where he worked with Brazilian stars Djavan and Chico Buarque before returning to Uruguay in 1989. His brother also returned to Uruguay (where he co-led a group with his wife, singer Mariana Ingold), while Thielemann remained in the U.S. and seemed to move away from music. Out of print for many years, Opa's two albums made an unexpected return to record stores when Milestone/Fantasy reissued them on a single CD in 1997.
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