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Bani Ahead by Slivovitz

The Italian band names itself after a popular plum brandy, to correlate the refined or perhaps slick components that augment its broad repertoire.   With its third album, the artists' continue on a path that integrates memorable storylines within a homogeneous old school/new school line of attack, where Eastern and Western folk melodies, radiant prog-rock, and nods to Jean Luc Ponty era fusion come to mind.   Sporting a signature sound, featuring horns, violin, and harmonica coalescing with knotty guitar-driven time signatures, the musicians' fashion a mark of authority that has earned them accolades among critics and prog aficionados.

Keenly placed technical calisthenics raise the bar, as the band seamlessly incorporates sprightly harmonic content into jazzy frameworks, often contrasting folk-isms and bluesy intonations. It all culminates in a diverse bag of tricks and the ensemble's unbounded resourcefulness.  And they throttle the flows on most pieces, often designed as tightly organized mini-suites.

On "02-09," jazzy horns, and Riccardo Villari's soaring staccato lines morph into a roots-driven bridge section amid linear progressions and changeable pulses.  Here, the band's ascension is enamored by knotty unison breakouts, brimming with a power-packed assault, and emphasized by Marcello Giannini's heavy rock guitar voicings as they conclude the chain of events on a faint whisper.  The ensemble also intertwines tender moments, evidenced during "Bani Ahead," featuring Pietro Santangelo's warm sax lines and drifting melodies, contrasted by Derek Di Perri's radiant harmonica phrasings.  But they also delve into some decomposition modalities and a brisk shuffle groove, topped off by trumpeter Ciro Riccardi's dreamy notes.

No doubt, the artists put a lot of thought into the material and arrangements via their cunning methodologies and impeccable technical gifts.  Slivovitz is most assuredly a unique entity and projects a horde of nouveau concepts, armed with a stylish line of attack.  They pack a mighty punch and separate themselves from the throngs of ho hum prog bands that are content to retread the numerous paths previously taken.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Slivovitz
  • CD Title: Bani Ahead
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2011
  • Record Label: Moonjune Records
  • Rating: Five Stars
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