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Slivovitz - Bani Ahead CD (album) cover



Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Since the postman left the latest SLIVOVITZ release on my door, I've been listening it constantly and can't leave it behind because it's addictive. and after several listens my first conclusion is that "Bani Ahead" is not as versatile as "Hubris", but I like the music even more, due to the amazing capacity of the band to create extremely complex music, and focus more in their strengths creating a unique sound that captures he listener from start to end.

The album starts with "Egiziaca" and it's powerful introduction that leads almost immediately to some kind of Classic Jazz, so fluid and coherent that the radical changes and dissonances seem simple and require little effort to be enjoyed. The guitar work by Marcello Gianinni blends perfectly with the style of the new trumpet player Ciro Riccardi.

"Cleopatra Through" marks a return to the style of "Hubris", being that the band creates an interesting oriental atmosphere. But what impressed me more is the amazing violin performance by Riccardo Villari in the vein of Jean-Luc Ponty, simply breathtaking.

The third track called "Fat" is one of the most nostalgic and melodic musical pieces I ever heard by a Jazz band, now with an impressive drum work by another new member called Salvatore Rainone, who manages to be subtle to avoid eclipsing the other members but at the same time strong enough to be noticed. Great team work.

"Vascello" begins with a beautiful guitar intro that creates a mysterious atmosphere soon supported by the bass and percussion, leading to another passage with oriental reminiscences and then to great blend of sounds with the band working as a well oiled machine.

"02-09" starts again with another beautiful guitar intro followed by a soft and melodic section, that goes "in crescendo" until all the instruments join into a vibrant and frantic section, one of the best musical pieces of the album.

"Opus Focus" is a beautiful and soft track that works as a reliever before the powerful and explosive "Bani Ahead", a song that satisfies both Prog and Jazz fans. Love the dramatic changes from funky to extremely Avant Garde and elaborate.

The album ends with the interesting "Pocho", not as complex as the previous, but still an excellent closer for an excellent album.

It's easy for me to give a high rating for a Symphonic Prog album, because that genre is my passion and I enjoy almost all it's expressions, but when I rate a Fusion album with 4 stars (as I'm doing with "Bani Ahead"), is because it has really impressed me, being that I have more problems enjoying some Jazz Fusion albums, but this release is so interesting, that I'm not able to remove it from my CD player sine I received it.

Report this review (#568240)
Posted Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars The third album from this band and the follow up to their breakthrough album Hubris.

Those who loved Hubris are in for some more of the same on Bani Ahead. That means music somewhere between eclectic prog, avant garde, zeuhl, canterbury and fusion/jazz. The main sound is jazz though. But the music is leaning a lot on the likes of Gentle Giant and King Crimson. Most of the music is as playful as a horse left alone on a field full of new wet grass. The cover art work is pretty much describing the music here. A prancing horse...... how fitting for the music on Bani Ahead.

The instrumentations is mostly violin and harmonica. And it is ages since I have heard harmonica being used to this great effect on an album. A vastly underused and undervalued instrument. Derek di Peri blows the wood out of his harmonica and is the star of this album. More, more, more !!!! The drums and the bass is brilliant too. The same can be said about the sound too.

Well, the real stars is the music on this album. An album which lacks the dot over the i, but is still a great album and one fans of eclectic and jazz should check out. An album which is actually better than Hubris and that says a lot.

4 stars

Report this review (#592151)
Posted Tuesday, December 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars In 2011 Slivovitz returned with their third album, and there had been a few line-up changes in that singer Ludovica Manzo was no longer involved and they had a new drummer in Stefano Costanzo. It was no surprise to see that the guys were now a completely instrumental act as there is just no room in their music for vocals. The band were obviously not content to rest on what they had achieved with the previous album either as here they are taking a more aggressive stance with stronger guitar presence and a real edge from the brass. On top of this they move more into the avant-garde area, challenging the listener but never moving too far wars from their fusion roots. Take opener "Egiziaca" for example, it may start with some hard rock riffs but moves through avant-garde and chaos only to turn into a highly complex jazz fusion that could be John McLaughlin and Santana at their finest when working with a big band.

It is an album that is hard to take off the player once it makes its' way on as it is just so good. They run with freedom when they wish, swapping the lead roles between every one of them, yet at other times they knuckle down to complex harmonic jazz that has purpose and delivery. This is much more than just moving an electric rock guitar into the jazz area, using the odd violin and then calling it fusion. This is the real deal.

Report this review (#911478)
Posted Friday, February 8, 2013 | Review Permalink

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