Lucas Arruda – Ominira

So we already announced the new album by Brazilian multi-instrumentalist and singer Lucas Arruda in early February. And here it is. “Ominira”, his fourth LP (yes, it’s out on vinyl too), has just been released by Favorite Recordings, the French label specializing in soul, jazz and funk from the 60s, 70s and 80s and also in new productions. They have been with Lucas from the very beginning in 2013 with his debut album “Sambadi” and continued with “Solar” (2015) and “Onda Nova” (2019).

Lucas Arruda "Ominira"

“Ominira”, composed, arranged, and produced by Lucas, starts out with a 2-minute intro piece with warm keys and lively percussion and the Brazilian Funk and Soul mixed up with classic AOR is back with the impressively grooving “The Bravest Heart”. His way of putting together different styles to create a totally new fusion sound is simply formidable. Lucas plays all keys and synths in addition to bass, guitar and percussion and is accompanied by Roger Rocha on sax, Flavia K and André Mota on vocals, his brother Thiago Arruda on guitar, and Italo Vinicius on drums. Lucas’ immensely soulful vocals are on display on the summery, bright “Novos Planos”, co-written with Fabricio di Monaco, an artist himself who released the brilliant “Natural” under the Modo Solar moniker back in 2008.

The tempo is down for the wonderful 70s-style soul ballad “Outras Dimensões” where Lucas is paired with singer Flavia K who contributes some floating lines and vignettes. “Abraco Pro Ed”, his nod to fellow Brazilian artist Ed Motta, is a galloping ride through the Brazilian landscape and for “4:28 AM”, he returns to some wickedly grooving slow-dance style with a fat bass and some magic keyboard sounds. The Rhodes lives! Really dig the breezy vocals here, too which actually reflect the early morning ambiance of the tune. Stunning! “Ominira is about freedom, art and music. It’s also about honoring my ancestors and my musical influences. I delved a little deeper into my African roots, in addition to Brazilian music and rhythms, and my longtime passion for Soul/Funk”, says Lucas about his new project with “The Mountain” probably best summarizing this statement. It’s as if George Duke says hello here.

There is this incredible thickness on the funky title track and the Steely Dan-inspired “Projeções” closes out this set with the help of singers Flavia K and André Mota on a really laid-back and comfortable note, swirling sax included. Highly recommended!


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