After being on the road for quite a while, playing for different audiences in many venues, São Paulo’s Otis Trio are finally releasing their first full-length album, ’74 Club’ featuring many talented jazz cats that add an outstanding groove to the mix. The result of this work is nothing but exceptional. Otis Trio proves to be one of the most intense and active jazz ensembles in the contemporary Brazilian music scene.
After the recording of ’74 Club’, the stage has become smaller and smaller for them, having sometimes five or six musicians blasting the purest jazz instead of just the original threesome. Some names as Andre Calixto (sax) and Beto Montag (vibraphone) are now officially part of the ‘Trio’.
The opening track of the album, ‘Montag’s Dream’ is arguably their most beautiful piece. An initial lethargy sustained by Montag’s soft playing of the vibraphone pave the way for the clarinet and the trumpet while the tenor-sax of Andre Calixto slowly comes up and takes its part as the lead role in this tune through an inspired and subtle shift.
With a different approach, the track ‘DNN’ starts as a free jazz horn brawl in which sax, trumpet and trombone create a raucous, dense layer that is supported by the frantic rhythm imprinted by Lazzarin (drums) and Ciriaco (double bass) that gradually goes steady to bolster an inspiring dialog between the guitar and the vibraphone only to erupt again with the horns for an appropriate grand finale.
With a wide range of influences such as bop, post-bop and free jazz bursting forth from their pieces with such elegance and personality, their sound is instantly recognizable as an ‘Otis Trio’ sound whether we are listening to a quick and relaxed track or a complex jazz attack.
‘Tempestade’, translated as ‘storm’ in English, is a sumptuous, swinging tune that becomes fresh with the addition of horns and vibraphone. This is the kind of song that gets under your skin and stays there, just like ‘Otis Natu’. The track brings such vibrant, intense drumming work that suits the straightforwardness of the catchy riffs that will be on the back of your head for days.