Wed. Oct. 20, 2021

Deep Tenor City & Antonio Ocasio – The Present (BBE)

First Listen: Deep Tenor City & Antonio Ocasio – The Present (BBE)

Let’s quickly start with the past… Those of you already familiar with these shores might remember how we enthuzed about Deep Tenor City‘s ‘Oba’ last November. With thanks to its infectious blend of Jazz, Latin, Funk and Afrobeat vibes.
As of the present, well, the impression is pretty much about the same, speaking of this cool jam. Itself sounding like a hypnotic dive into Soul/Jazz territories. Enlightened with mysterious spoken words and Spanish lyrics along with beautiful although complex harmonies and percussion. Meanwhile powered by luminaries such as Tribal Winds label head Antonio Ocasio. Not to mention Joe Claussell.
This once again meaning 5 star musicianship at the present.
Besides, hard not to think of Mongo Santamaria‘s Jazz/funk cover version of ‘Watermelon Man’ to a certain extend.
Just can’t wait for the album. And, by that, we’re already speakin’ of the future…

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– Hailing from Lisbon, Oli Albergaria Savill is a master at both Brazilian and Cuban forms of music. And so is he of other styles including Jazz and Funk. He started his musical career playing in traditional Brazilian percussion groups. Then he later came to study at the C.N.M.P. in La Havana, Cuba.
As a matter of fact, he would find like a natural ground in London where he dropped his luggage back in 1992. Eventually becoming a sought after percussionist from then.

Over the last three decades, Oli has been quite active. Thus playing, recording and touring with an impressive amount of artists from around the world. From Airto Moreira to Sly & Robbie and Tony Allen. But also Dom Um Romao and Ive Mendes. Not to mention his collaborations with British acts. Beginning with Basement Jaxx, Da Lata Reel People and Tony Momrelle. This in addition to his own projects. In other words, Arakatuba along with Liliana Chachian and Deep Tenor City with Dan Stillit.

‘Oba’, Deep Tenor City‘s first single, saw the light back in October 2015. This with remixing treatment by the likes of Opolopo. Its follow-up, ‘The Present’, came to light six months after. Itself seeing the contributions of Antonio Ocasio and Joe Claussell. Meanwhile ‘Henderson’s Groove’ saw them sharing the bill with DJ Romain by the end of 2017. Thus standing as their last release to date.

Rumors of a possible album have been circulating here and there. Although no confirmation has been given as of now.

“I am not the one to come check out. I’m not going to play a jam just because everyone else is playing it. On the other hand, I welcome the music lover/dancer who know their music and want to hear all kinds of good, quality sounds and even get educated to some degree…” As many words pretty much describing What Antonio Ocasio is about. And probably also what he’s gone thru. With his older brother eventually introducing him to the music of Santana who would become a major influence.

A native of the South Bronx, Ocasio found there a natural home to get him fully aware of his Perto Rican/Latin and Afro American culture. Itself being for much on his deliberately open minded vision. With thanks to his exposition the old Latin Boleros. But also Latin/Jazz and African rhythms such as Yoruba. This in addition to Soul, Funk, Gospel, Disco and Rap.

Luckily enough a neighborhood DJ by the name of Rookie took him under his wing back in 1972. Teaching him the art of mixing, and eventually allowing him to play with him at times. Meanwhile, although under-age at the time, the mid-70’s got him to get into many clubs of the Big Apple. Then to most likely become a fan of The Loft, The Paradise Garage and The Funhouse.

By January 1998, Antonio Ocasio gave birth to his own label, Tribal Winds, with the aim to only put out the music in his heart. Such as the aptly titled ‘A Celebration Of Life’, his first release. But also the one of a kind ‘Waves’ by the likes of Gabrielle Roth & The Mirrors. Itself featuring the late Boyd Jarvis on keyboards and Joe Claussell on percussion. Meanwhile launching his own parties in the Big Apple stood as a natural step forward. This by the likes of WEPA NYC along with promoter Joann Jimenez. An event speaking of which its protagonists said… “We are cultural and musical preservationists. We bring people together to honor our roots and pay homage to our ancestors through music, drum and dance.
¡WEPA! provides a foundation and shrine to experience the true meaning of tradition, joy and freedom.”

Unsurpsingly, the list of luminaries Antonio has happened to work with is quite impressive. From the late Boyd Jarvis who co-produced ‘Agua De Coco…, Bien Dulce’ among others for the label back in 1999. To ‘Mamoska’ along with Vinnie Colaiuta and Herbie Hancock the year after. Not to mention ‘Eesti’ with Def Räädu four years after to name a few. The Afro-Caribbean fueled ‘Echu Aye’ standing among his definitive masterpieces back in 2004.

And how not to mention the intoxicating ‘The Present’ that saw him sharing the bill with Deep Tenor City back in 2016?!? Then the touching ‘Soulmates’… A blowin’ gem that saw him sharing the bill with Josh Milan by the end of 2018.

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