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
24-08-2024 Jazz Op De Hei OTTLA Kalmthout, BE TICKETS

Tour History

Date Band Location
05-07-2024 Gent Jazz OTTLA Gent, BE
13-06-2024 STUK OTTLA Leuven, BE
22-05-2024 Cactus Café OTTLA Brugge, BE
15-05-2024 VierNulVier // Democrazy OTTLA Gent, BE
26-04-2024 Beursschouwburg OTTLA Brussel, BE
20-04-2024 Roadburn Festival OTTLA Tilburg, NL
18-04-2024 Het Bos OTTLA Antwerpen, BE
12-04-2024 Hnita Jazz Club OTTLA Heist op den Berg, BE
23-03-2024 Jazz Cats OTTLA Kortrijk, BE
21-03-2024 Trekstaal (try-out) OTTLA Diest, BE

Press

12-04-2024

"Ottla is emerging as Flanders' leading, melodically rock-solid flight of free birds." OOR on Ottla's 'Vogel'

12-04-2024

Wwww "vital, hypnotic and unpredictable" FOCUS KNACK on Ottla's 'Vogel'

12-04-2024

 Wwww1/2  "A record full of music that excites, amazes and overwhelms."  WRITTEN IN MUSIC on 'Vogel'

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pressview

19-06-2024

"A Live Sensation" JAZZISM on Ottla

live
19-04-2024

Wwww from DE MORGEN for 'Vogel' 

album
16-04-2024

"Taste the freedom of a bird and flutter through the genre forest." PLATOMANIA on Ottla's 'Vogel'

album
15-04-2024

"(...) rich aesthetic that effortlessly blurs the line between rock and jazz" JAZZENZO on Ottla's 'Vogel'

album
12-04-2024

"'Vogel' decisively chooses lust for life" ENOLA on Ottla's new album

album
12-04-2024

Wwww "Vogel is a record that breathes and will never die." DANSENDE BEREN on Ottla's new album

album
12-04-2024

"Ottla is emerging as Flanders' leading, melodically rock-solid flight of free birds." OOR on Ottla's 'Vogel'

album
12-04-2024

Wwww "vital, hypnotic and unpredictable" FOCUS KNACK on Ottla's 'Vogel'

album
12-04-2024

 Wwww1/2  "A record full of music that excites, amazes and overwhelms."  WRITTEN IN MUSIC on 'Vogel'

album
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 - Droomvogel

Ottla - Espejo

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)

Ottla - Jardin

Photos