OTTLA

OTTLA

Ottla is a bird that not only sings beautifully but also vigorously flaps and squawks. 

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Also known as a band that Bert Dockx formed to play together once to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Jazz Lab concert series. Fortunately, Dockx and the musicians he gathered for that anniversary sextet quickly found much enthusiasm and more opportunities to play together. In 2019, what initially seemed like a fleeting experiment transformed into composing, rehearsing, recording an album, and playing more. Ottla's fluttering spirit appeared to have cooled down, at least for a while. However, when Josse De Pauw asked Dockx to improvise during a monologue he was working on in 2021, an alternative version of Ottla quickly appeared by Dockx's side. The mystery and madness of Eduardo Galeano's "Chronicle of Fire" (1986), the monologue in question, found a musical counterpart. In addition to the requested improvisation, Dockx developed several new compositions, expanded by Ottla with lyrical guitar passages, improvised clarinet solos, rustling effects, and a sometimes cool, then warm, dark rhythm section. The result was a powerful performance (and live EP) and the clear insight that this new Ottla is no mockingbird.

A new repertoire was in the works, but performing it was temporarily out of the question. Bert's acute back problems in the fall of 2021 dampened the enthusiasm. All music was set aside but fortunately only for a while. Music has always been the language through which Dockx found meaning and order in the world, so this heavy physical and emotional setback would also find its response in music. From that dark period emerged the album "Ghosts," released under the new name Bert Dockx Band in October of this year. That album seems much more like a cage in search of a bird, to speak with a Kafkaesque aphorism (Ottla is also Kafka's sister's first name).

Ottla's latest album, "Vogel" (Bird), is the full awakening after "Ghosts." The window flies open, the sun burns. Fluttering and wailing in jazz-improv-electro-noise-prog-afro-blues-groove-punk-krautrock, Ottla, true to its Kafkaesque nature, transformed once again, and the quartet began further developing the compositions with an even richer language. The album showcases significant contrasts in strength and color between songs, often even within one song. There exists no rivalry between Thomas Jillings and Bert Dockx, but rather a playful dialogue. Jillings, the multi-instrumentalist, expanded his setup and plays saxophone, clarinet, and various synthesizers. The bass and drum parts of Gerben Brijs and Louis Evrard provide tension and thunder, with effects resonating from their amplifiers like mist in an enchanted forest.

To further explore the new music, the quartet performed a series of café concerts in 2022 and some try-outs in 2023. Finally, last summer, they entered the studio to capture "Vogel." In Studio Ledeberg, Peter Desmedt's cage, the spontaneity and dynamics of the performances were preserved, with room for overdubs to enrich the songs just a bit more. The result is an album full of exciting twists: a series of new songs that will undoubtedly continue to transform live. The bird is free.

 

Ottla is:

Bert Dockx: gitaar
Gerben Brys: bass guitar
Thomas Jillings: sax, clarinet, synths
Louis Evrard: drums, percussion, guitar, fx

Tourdates

Date Band Location Tickets
21-03-2024 Trekstaal (try-out) OTTLA Diest, BE TICKETS
23-03-2024 Jazz Cats OTTLA Kortrijk, BE TICKETS
12-04-2024 Hnita Jazz Club OTTLA Heist op den Berg, BE TICKETS
18-04-2024 Het Bos OTTLA Antwerpen, BE TICKETS
20-04-2024 Roadburn OTTLA Tilburg, NL TICKETS
26-04-2024 Beursschouwburg OTTLA Brussel, BE TICKETS
15-05-2024 VierNulVier // Democrazy OTTLA Gent, BE TICKETS
22-05-2024 Cactus Café OTTLA Brugge, BE TICKETS

Tour History

Date Band Location
08-07-2023 Un Peu OTTLA Brussel, BE
05-07-2023 Café Rood Wit OTTLA Berchem, BE
26-05-2023 Jazz In Duketown OTTLA Den Bosch
18-05-2023 Oorworm x Django OTTLA Gent, BE
10-09-2022 Café Des Arts OTTLA Antwerp, BE
18-06-2022 Jazz Festival Ljubljana OTTLA Ljubljana, SLO
15-06-2022 Hoogmis OTTLA Edegem, BE
21-05-2022 Roeselare Jazz Festival OTTLA Roeselare, BE
19-05-2022 Rataplan OTTLA Antwerpen, BE
03-05-2022 De Living OTTLA Heist op den Berg, BE

Press

23-10-2019

★★★★ Nice words + 4 stars from DE STANDAARD

23-10-2019

★★★★ from FOCUS KNACK for Ottla'sdebut album

22-10-2019

★★★★½ for Ottla's debut from HUMO

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pressview

22-09-2020

★★★★☆ from FOCUS KNACK for Ottla at Jazz Middelheim

live
24-02-2020

"Whether you think you like jazz or not, Ottla will fill you with emotion." THE DAILY INDIE on Ottla live

live
24-02-2020

"A fine performance, characterised by diversity, playfulness and guts"  3 VOOR 12 on Ottla live at Peel Slowly & See 2020

live
27-01-2020

"A Wonderful Show" KLANKGAT on Ottla live at Rauwkost Festival

live
25-01-2020

★★★★☆ "We Want More" DE MORGEN on Ottla live at Botanique

live
24-01-2020

"Finger licking good" DANSENDE BEREN on Ottla in Handelsbeurs

live
23-01-2020

Great review on Ottla live at Handelsbeurs by JAZZ & MO'

live
21-01-2020

Interview with Bert Dockx on Ottla in HUMO

album
25-12-2019

"Stofwolk" is one of DANSENDE BEREN's best Belgian singles of 2019

album
24-12-2019

Ottla's debut at N°2 in LUMINOUS DASH's Bram Gobbers' best of 2019

album
18-12-2019

Ottla's debut is one of INDIESTYLE's favourite Belgian albums of 2019

album
17-12-2019

Another great review from JAZZHALO

album
16-12-2019

N°1 album of 2019 + interview & concert review in JAZZISM (NL)

album
08-12-2019

Ottla's debut is at N°4 of WRITTEN IN MUSIC's best of 2019

album
02-12-2019

"Dockx & his companions pull out all the stops on this crushing debut" JAZZFLITS (NL) on Ottla's first album.

album
27-11-2019

Ottla's 'Huisje Tuintje' on FRANCE MUSIQUE's Open Jazz

onair
31-10-2019

"...this might be the best album in Dockx’s discography. And that means something." INDIESTYLE

album
28-10-2019

"A great album that leaves pigeonholing to those still needing it." ENOLA on Ottla

album
26-10-2019

"Album of the year" according to LUMINOUS DASH

album
24-10-2019

"Brilliant" FOCUS VIF on Ottla's debut

album
24-10-2019

"Ottla is a world-class band and their first born is downright crushing!" WRITTEN IN MUSIC (NL)

album
23-10-2019

★★★★ Nice words + 4 stars from DE STANDAARD

album
23-10-2019

★★★★ from FOCUS KNACK for Ottla'sdebut album

album
22-10-2019

★★★★½ for Ottla's debut from HUMO

album
04-10-2019

Nice review on Ottla's debut by JAZZHALO (DE)

album
25-08-2019

"Shaking" JAZZQUES on Ottla live at Gaume Jazz

live
12-08-2019

JAZZ HALO on Ottla live at Gaume Jazz

live
11-08-2019

Bert Dockx in "My Favorite Things" on KLARA

onair
19-07-2019

"Stofwolk" sounds like a brooding musical exploration through a warm and desolate landscape. DANSENDE BEREN

album
02-07-2019

"Ottla surprises, amazes, grooves, moves & has humour" JAZZISM on Ottla live at Gent Jazz 2019

live
30-06-2019

"An energetic atmosphere" DANSENDE BEREN on Ottla at Gent Jazz 2019

live
29-04-2019

"Strong, energetic performance, which left no one untouched" JAZZFORUM (PL) on Ottla live at BJM 2019

live
15-04-2019

Nice words from WRITTEN IN MUSIC on Ottla live at the Belgian Jazz Meeting

live
09-04-2019

"Most interesting music" LONDON JAZZ NEWS (UK) on Ottla live at the Belgian Jazz Meeting

live
09-04-2019

"Spectacular" JAZZ ENZO (NL) on Ottla live at the Belgian Jazz Meeting

live
29-03-2019

"A strong & intense performance" ENOLA on Ottla live in Ghent.

live
Video 

Ottla, LJUBLJANA JazzFest 18.6.2022

61. Jazz festival Ljubljana, Ottla

Ottla - Huisje Tuintje

Ottla - Spinrag

Ottla - Stofwolk

Ottla - Epistrophy

Ottla - Je Ne Sens Presque Plus Rien

Ottla - Lights on a Satelite

Ottla - Etrange Poursuite

Ottla - Vroeger Beter

BJM 2019 OTTLA - STOFWOLK

BJM 2019 OTTLA - ETRANGE POURSUIT

BJM 2019 OTTLA - HUISJE TUINTJE

Bert Dockx Ottla (JazzLab 2.5)

Photos