This Naples, Italy based septet derives its group moniker from a popular Slavic brandy, that perhaps corresponds to its exquisite fusion of jazz-rock, prog-rock, Middle Eastern modalities and Mediterranean folk derivations. But it’s not an unruly or wanton morphing of disparate styles. The band does indeed carve out a fluent and colorful program, featuring strings, horns, brash guitar parts and polyrhythmic fury on its second album.
The musicians intersperse garrulous pulses into the grand schema, to include world-groove percussion vamps and tribal-like passages amid pumping song-forms. Guitarist Marcello Giannini injects scorching psycho, hard-rock phrasings into various movements that are often engineered with climactic choruses and blitzing cadences. However, the band conjures up a multilayered stream of ideas. For example, Pietro Santangelo’s free form sax lines and Giannini’s raucous licks serve as the predecessor for the memorably melodic primary theme on "Mangiare."
Riccardo Villari’s breezy and streaming violin maneuvers add a prismatic dimension to these varied works. No doubt, this unit intimates quite a bit of gusto while providing a balanced attack, comprised of harmonious motifs and a sense of perpetual motion, devised on quirky diversions and unanticipated surprises. With a hodgepodge of curves, dips and soaring storylines, Derek Di Perri’s torrid harmonica performance during "Dammi Un Besh O," spearheads a cross-genre vibe, designed on rock and Euro-folk. And the musicians get a tad rowdy, with the hybrid, Afro-Pop, and jazz-funk composition "Sono Tranquillo Eppure Spesso Strillo." Through it all, variety and the group’s triumphant alignment of numerous stylizations, helps yield the bountiful fruit. (Strongly recommended.... )