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Slivovitz: All You Can Eat

Glenn Astarita By

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This Italian progressive rock, jazz fusion unit named after an Eastern European plum brandy unleashes a wealth of insightful and melodically focused arrangements via its unique sound and diverse instrumentation. As a long-awaited follow-up to Bani Ahead (Moonjune, 2011), the septet integrates a magnetic series of works, spanning Italian folk, Frank Zappa-esque time signatures and with the sleight of hand, evidenced by prog rock pioneers Gentle Giant. Conversely, harmonica performer Derek Di Perri and violinist Riccardo Villari also cast organic inferences to American southern rock and blues in choice spots.

Each piece tells a story or casts a compelling vibe. For example, "Persian Nights" sounds more like an Ennio Morricone spaghetti western soundtrack due to Marcello Giannini's tremolo shaded surf guitar licks, leading to the frontline's perky contrasts and weaving patterns. Other tracks commingle rocketing grooves and briskly populated unison choruses with a few Chamber- like interludes and jazzy outbreaks by saxophonist Pietro Santangelo. Nonetheless, the ensemble—while sustaining a signature and well-defined deportment—is cohesively all over the musical map.

Di Perri's whispery phrasings on "Barotrauma (La Zappa sui piedi)" take you to a villa on the Mediterranean Sea. You can feel the breeze caress your soul, followed by the musicians' odd-metered contrapuntal implementations amid the Zappa influences and playful interludes, consummated with little big band-like choruses. But Santangelo's warm sax notes reframe the band's thematic articulations atop a budding motif towards closeout. Moreover, "Currywurst," proceeds with an in-your-face gait, underscored by a punchy jazz rock impetus, and heightened by Di Perri's intense soloing. Without a doubt, All You Can Eat is a gourmet aural experience, fabricated with exquisite delicacies and ambient milieus.

Track Listing: Persian Night; Mani In Faccia; Yahtzee; Passannante; Barotrauma; Hangover; Currywuster; Oblio.

Personnel: Pietro Santangelo: tenor & alto saxophones; Marcello Giannini: electric & acoustic guitars; Riccardo Villari: acoustic and electric violin; Ciro Riccardi: trumpet; Derek Di Perri: harmonica; Vincenzo Lamagna: bass guitar; Salvatore Rainone: drums.

Title: All You Can Eat | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Moonjune Records

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