Slivovitz: Liver

Glenn Astarita By

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This high-flying Italian jazz rock septet performs live in your listening space via the upfront and shrewdly recorded audio capturing the artists in peak form at a Milan venue. With shades of Mahavishnu Orchestra, Curlew and Italian prog rock pioneers' PFM, harmonica ace Derek Di Perri fuses an organic country-like aura into the band's electrifying attack, that consists of measured firepower and feverish soloing sprees. Here, the artists cover material from their previous Moonjune Records releases Bani Ahead (2011) and All You Can Eat (2016). No doubt, they were performing at an exalted level of excellence, or in simple terms, they brought their A game to the table.

The septet's jolting cadences and razor-sharp interactions contrast a horde of tornadic motifs, brimming with guitarist Marcello Giannini's hard rock crunch chords and electric violinist Riccardo Villari's soaring staccato lines and supple melodic content. Along with complex unison choruses and the hornists' punctual and resonating passages, the soloists are supplied with lots of breathing room amid climactic buildups leading to thrills a nanosecond. The band integrates hummable themes and luminous melodies with vastly exciting movements as they maintain a signature sound while homogenizing disparate musical worlds throughout.

Upbeat pieces abound. For example, the funk-soul inspired "Currywurst," sounds like a meeting between James Brown and Tower of Power, ramped up by Di Perri's ravaging solo and a linear motif marked by Villari's spiraling trajectory. But Giannini's metallic crunch chords pose an ominous vista towards the finale. Then "Negative Creep" opens with the guitarist's Hendrix-style feedback and Salvatore Rainone's bashing polyrhythmic flurries. Moreover, the hornists pepper the pulse with terse phrasings, yet they change colors by venturing into the free jazz wilderness during the bridge, as all hell breaks loose. (Passionately recommended!)

Track Listing: Mai Per Comando; Cleopatra; Currywurst; Egiziaca; Mani In Faccia; Negative Creep; Caldo Bagno.

Personnel: Pietro Santangelo: tenor saxophone; Marcello Giannini: guitars, Derek Di Perri: harmonica; Ciro  Riccardi: trumpet; Riccardo Villari: electric violin; Vincenzo Lamagna: bass; Salvatore Rainone: drums.

Title: Liver | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: MoonJune Records

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