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SLIVOVITZ

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Italy


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Slivovitz biography
The band "Slivovitz" was started in September 2001 and ever since hasn't stopped moving, growing, changing shape and direction always in the groove of instrumental music related to ethnically tuned jazz rock. Neurotic, restless and of course striving to shifting during these years, starting from Naples, Slivovitz has been playing throughout Italy and abroad, reaching for instance Hungary (Budapest Sziget Festival, Debrecem, Veszprem, Ocs...), Spain (Barcellona) , Serbia (Nisville Jazz Festival, Belgrade) Croatia (Zagreb) and Austria (Mumyuha Festival Hochneukirchen). With the original line up (Domenico Angarano - bass guitar, Stefano Costanzo - drums, Derek Di Perri - harmonica, Marcello Giannini - guitars, Pietro Santangelo - saxophone, Riccardo Villari - Violin) Slivovitz has recorded its first homonymous record between 2004 and 2005, distributed by Ethnoworld S.r.l. ( a record label settled in Milano); with a line up enhanced by the voice of Miss Ludovica Manzo Slivovitz has eventually recorded ita second record in the heat of Neapolitan summer in 2007 at Megaride Studios. In these newer tunes the "instrumental" utilization of the voice stands out, as well as the mingling of the several instruments at hand, never relegating any member of the band as just mere accompanist. The strong "live" inpact points out a clear rock ascendant on the rhythm section, mitigated by the innate improvising skills of the soloists; all of this melted in complex structures that refer to the purest jazz rock of the early seventies but with ethnic sonorities from Mediterranean to the Balkanik area.

The record, under the title "Hubris", enanched by guests such as Giovanni Imparato (vocals and percussions in "CaldoBagno"), Marco Pezzenati (vibraphone in "Mangiare") and Ugo Santangelo (acoustic guitar in "Co2"), has been mixed by Luca Barassi at SAE's studios in London , and mastered by Fabrizio de Carolis at "Reference" studio in Rome. "Hubris" has been released in September 2009 and distributed throughout the world by Leonardo Pavkovic's MoonJune Records.

With the current line-up of the band, which features new drummer Salvatore Rainone as well as trumpet player Ciro Riccardi, Slivovitz is just about to finalize the pre-production of their next record, due to be recorded in London in December.

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SLIVOVITZ discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SLIVOVITZ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Slivovitz
2005
3.74 | 17 ratings
Hubris
2009
3.95 | 14 ratings
Bani Ahead
2011

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SLIVOVITZ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hubris by SLIVOVITZ album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.74 | 17 ratings

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Hubris
Slivovitz Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I must admit I wasn't expecting a lot from this release, especially when a co-worker got it for me. I had no idea who this band was and was really surprised to find them on the site here. The next step of course was to listen to it, and while it took a few spins, this has been a cd i've looked forward to playing everyday. It's a combination of Jazz and World music I guess you could say bringing to mind the world music of AZIGZA although not as good or as in depth. It also reminded me of FULANO but again I feel it's not as good for my tastes and certainly not as dynamic as that band. Still like I said earlier this is a recording I have really warmed to and it's left me with a great appreciation for this Italian band. Love the album cover as well.

"Zorn A Surriento" opens with a bass solo(what!) before percussion joins in, then female vocal melodies and sax kicks in. This is really enjoyable. Bass, sax and drums lead before 2 1/2 minutes when the vocals stop. Next the sax gets dissonant, so good. Vocal melodies return with that earlier sound. "Caldo Bagno" features percussion and female multi-vocal melodies early on. Female vocal melodies start to lead with guitar. Great sound. Check out the multi-vocals after 3 minutes that become the focus along with percussion. Bass and guitar take over. Nice. "Mangiare" is led by drums and guitar early on, this is all very intricate then this swinging melody takes over. Demented male vocals come in briefly. Vibes follow with sax and this is all so intricate and complex. Crazy sax runs follow then that swinging melody returns before 4 minutes. "Erorre Di Parallasse" is a jazzy tune with sax, harmonica and guitar standing out. Some nice bass and drum work as well. Violin comes to the fore around 2 1/2 minutes in and that continues to around the 4 minute mark when the guitar takes over tastefully. "Ne Carne" is a pleasant laid back song that makes me feel good. Female vocal melodies help out as well. "Ne Pesce" is a favourite with the atmosphere and drum work leading off. It kicks in just before 2 minutes with the sax leading. So much going on and I Iove the bass and drum work. Great tune!

"Dammi Un Besho" is very festive sounding and uptempo. Female vocals around 1 1/2 minutes and she's so good. Sax takes over from the vocals a minute later. An interesting instrumental section follows then back to the festive passage. "CO2" features acoustic guitar and sax leading the way. This is very uplifting and enjoyable. I love the more laid back passages. "Sono Tranquillo Eppure Spesso Strillo-STRESS" is an uptempo FULANO-like tune with female vocals. The guitar is played quickly throughout. Check out the vocals 1 1/2 minutes in. Male vocals follow and they are animated. She's back before 4 minutes. Another favourite. "Canguri" has lots of sax, violin and harmonica and is mid-paced. Cool sound 3 1/2 minutes in with the steady beat as the sax plays over top. Nice section 6 minutes in as the violin, sax and harmonica give way to percussion, bass and more. Back to the original sound before 8 minutes. "Tilde" is another impressive instrumental where drums, sax and violin shine. It's quite laid back and enjoyable. A jazzy soundscape 5 1/2 minutes in. The sound of water and two people talking ends it. "Sig. M Rapito Dal Vento" featrues picked guitar, random drum patterns and atmosphere to start. Sax and violin join in as it becomes more dynamic.

I am really taken with this album, it's adventerous and warm all rolled into one.

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 Bani Ahead by SLIVOVITZ album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.95 | 14 ratings

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Bani Ahead
Slivovitz Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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. www.moonjune.com

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 Hubris by SLIVOVITZ album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.74 | 17 ratings

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Hubris
Slivovitz Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars The thing that strikes me most about Slivovitz is just how tight the musicians are, and how they easily move between taking lead, providing harmony or contrast and then back again. This is fusion in a constant state of flux and motion. This was the band's second album, originally released in 2009 (but also containing some tracks that were recorded as far back as 2004) and although a singer is credited he is certainly conspicuous more by his absence than for his contribution to the sound. There just isn't room for him here. Interestingly there also isn't room in the band for a keyboard player, but with sax, violin and harmonica all fighting with the guitar and rhythm section for centre stage perhaps that isn't really surprising.

What I really enjoyed with this is the way that we the guys bring in so many different influences from South American latin and bossa nova into Canterbury Scene, then Zappa and throw in all together with some European. This is all over the place, truly progressive as they refuse to acknowledge any particular musical form ' why settle for one when there are so many available and somehow you can bring them all into one piece of music? They can be gentle and relaxing, thoughtful in approach, or they can bring together a whirlwind of sound and dynamics.

'Sig. M Rapito Dal Vento' is the final number on the album, and the restraint and control are evident here as drummer Stefano Costanzo works tirelessly to drive the band along while the rest of the guys are far more laid back and refuse to go faster that is required. Well worth investigation. www.moonjune.com

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 Hubris by SLIVOVITZ album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.74 | 17 ratings

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Hubris
Slivovitz Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars With one foot grounded in Ethnic Music and the other stepping into Jazz territories, Naples- based act Slivovitz was formed in 2001 with Domenico Angarano on bass, Stefano Costanzo on drums, Derek Di Perri on harmonica, Marcello Giannini on guitars, Pietro Santangelo on saxophone and Riccardo Villari on violin.Their self-titled debut from 2005 went rather unnoticed, released on Etnoworld label and having more of a jam sound, however they became more widely known after signing with Moonjune Records and coming up with a second album in 2009 entitled ''Hubris'', featuring female singer Ludovica Manzo.

Their sound is hard to compare, at moments it is close to contemporary Etnic/Jazz-Rock compatriots CAMEMBERT and CALOMITO or even 70's monster Napolitans NAPOLI CENTRALE, but definitely Slivovitz have a sound of their own.There are obvious influences from Ethnic Music coming from Balkan and African fields with long wind instrumental sections featuring violins and saxes along with some strong vibraphones, harmonica and percussion parts, always blended with some sort of MILE DAVIS' Electric Jazz parts, eventually to come up with moments of complete jazzy madness or calm waves of Lounge Jazz.As a mainly Jazz- oriented instrumental band, Slivovitz offer endless passages of improvisation and powerful guitar/sax/violin solos, some of them sound too abstract or experimental being on the weaker side of the listening, most of them though are really rich, powerful and intricate, often followed by smoother and more harmonic parts.Guitars are also a big part of Slivovitz'es style with some excellent hooks here and there. Not by any means a groundbreaking album, but a great listening definitely as it unfolds.

''Hubris'' ends up to be a really fantastic record for fans of Jazz-Rock mixed with ethnic influences, but any average Progressive Rock fan can spend some pleasant time listening to this fresh blend.Overall recommended.

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 Hubris by SLIVOVITZ album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.74 | 17 ratings

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Hubris
Slivovitz Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

4 stars Slivovitz is an italian band that was formed back in 2001. They've got 3 albums released: Slivovitz (2006), Hubris (2009) and the newest just released by Moonjune Records Bani Ahead (2011).

Hubris starts with the Domenico Angarano's bass and his great riff that serve as a base to the double sax/vocals, in this case vocals used as an instrument, 'blame' Kudovica Manzo. Followed by inspirated saxes by Pietro Santangelo. Maintaining the hypnotic climate, percussions, as rituals, in 'Caldo Bagno', a true trip during its 7 minutes, changing from the complete tranquility to a frenetic jam session in a matter of seconds. While in 'Mangiare' we have a hunted atmosphere with sinisters sounds, cacophonic moments. 'Errore Di Parallasse', in other hand, follows a structure a little bit more conventional, reminds in some moments the good 70's, specially the bands that played with the jazz/fusion vein.

'Dammi Um Besh O' bets in a dancable rhythm, and you may feel in an italian street with musicians playing at your side, spontaneous. 'CO2' is an acoustic ballad, a little calm piece. The track 'Sono Tranquillo Eppure Spesso Strillo' is the only one with real vocals and lyrics in it (very interesting, by the way), build in a funky rhythm, guitar and bass do a great work. As a kind of bonus Hubris (2009) brings 3 remaster tracks from their first eponimous album: 'Sig. M Rapito Dal Vento' , 'Canguri In 5′ & 'Tilde'.

A very interesting album that should please the ears of instrumental lovers, specially the ones that love the italian flavour in Progressive Rock.

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 Bani Ahead by SLIVOVITZ album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.95 | 14 ratings

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Bani Ahead
Slivovitz Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by toroddfuglesteg

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

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 Bani Ahead by SLIVOVITZ album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.95 | 14 ratings

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Bani Ahead
Slivovitz Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator 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.

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 Hubris by SLIVOVITZ album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.74 | 17 ratings

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Hubris
Slivovitz Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars Real Fusion beyond the limits of Jazz and Rock

Some weeks ago I received a package of albums from Leonardo Pavkovic of Moonjune Records, and even when I never considered myself an expert or a particular fan of Rock Fusion, I know when something is good, and the latest SLIVOVITZ release named "Hubris" is an amazing release.

Let's start saying that "Hubris" is one of the most interesting albums of this genre I ever listened to, but to be honest, they exceed the limits of this sub-gene, because apart from the obvious Jazz and Rock elements, we can perceive a strong ethnic Arabic and Central Africa influence that creates a mysterious atmosphere, so pleasant for fans of Progressive Rock as myself.

Some will believe that the lack of keyboards limits a band, but when you have such a talented guitarist as Marcello Giannini and an amazing bassist like Domenico Angrano, it's only a chance to enhance the possibilities of interplaying between all the instruments instead of leaving the lead to the keys as usually happens,

But what impresses me more of this album, is the capacity of the band to jump from one genre or style to another completely different in a matter of seconds and make it sound coherent and natural, as if this sometimes contradictory styles were created to be played together in the same song.

I won't dare to try a song by song review as I usually do, being that the complexity of "Hubris" is such that it would take me several pages, but I must say I couldn't find a single weak or boring moment.

If I have to choose favorite tracks,I would go with the haunting opener "Zorn A Surrento", where the almost hypnotic voice of Ludovica Manzo, collisions with an extremely aggressive saxophone performance by Pietro Santangelo.

"Caldo Bagno" is another excellent track, with a guitar melody that flows gently not without sudden African influences percussion explosions and of course I can't end this review without mentioning "Sig M Rapito Dal Vento" with a frenetic violin performance by Ricardo Villari who sounds like a Jean-Luc Ponty on acid playing something something in the style of "Tchokola", but with more strength.

All I can say is that I enjoyed the album from start to end, not a weak moment or filler, "Hubris is simply outstanding, and this makes the rating easier, because such an excellent release, deserves no less than 4 solid stars.

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 Hubris by SLIVOVITZ album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.74 | 17 ratings

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Hubris
Slivovitz Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars A very strange jazz/fusion album.

When I nominated this band for inclusion in PA, I labeled them "frisky". Which is the most accurate description on this album. Frisky because it has so many different kinds of elements and expressions. From gentle electric guitar pickings and solos to female vocals with no words and woodwinds of all sorts. This album actually reminds me of the Picchio Dal Pozzo albums. And that takes us to the Canterbury Scene genre. This album also have a lot of ethno music and Zeuhl too. In short; this is by no means a clean cut jazz/fusion album. The music is all over the place. But Picchio Dal Pozzo is not a bad reference.

The all over the place nature of this album also makes it a bit difficult to follow and get the feel for. The quality of this album is good, but nothing more. But there is some great pieces of music on this album, but this album is mostly a bit confusing. It is recommended to all jazz and Canterbury fans out there and it is pretty obvious that Slivovitz is a band to be reckoned with in the future. I love the artwork though.

3.5 stars

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