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Slivovitz: Bani Ahead

Slivovitz are a seven piece band from Italy and Bani Ahead is their third album, the follow up to Hubris released in 2009. The band plays a brand of eclectic progressive rock/fusion while adding elements of avant-garde, ethnic rock and jazz. The music seems to come from many different angles taking the listener through a kaleidoscope of sounds and styles. Gypsy and oriental melodies further enhance band's distinctive sound.

Band members include Domenico Angarano (bass), Derek Di Perri (harmonica), Marcello Giannini (guitar), Salvatore Rainone (drums), Ciro Riccardi (trumpet), Pietro Santangelo (tenor and soprano sax) and Riccardo Villari (violin).

These are all very capable musicians although the band never shows off with over indulgent excess. This is a cohesive unit and the band members play extremely well off one another. The horns, violin and harmonica are used extensively but all members get to show their stuff, although there is not much in the way of soloing. Just solid playing throughout.

The band is equally adept taking a mellower approach as in the spacey and mysterious "Opus Focus" as it is going for a heavier sound like in the chaotic title track where a fast gypsy-like tempo morphs into a sultry groove as prog fusion meets the blues head on.

The interesting "Vascello" opens with a pretty guitar intro before excellent drum work takes the song into fusion territory leading to a minimalistic ambient section with cool guitar and trippy sound effects. Similarly, "02-09" starts with gorgeous guitar that builds into an intense prog fusion workout where the rhythm section absolutely rips as the horns and harmonica offer up some chaotic dissonance. Gentle guitar and violin end the song on a beautiful note.

Hand claps start the album's last song entitled "Pocho" before the rhythm section lays down an interesting beat as the horns wash over the soundscape.

Anyone who is interested in jazz rock and fusion and/or eclectic progressive rock would be wise to check out Bani Ahead. It will be forty-four minutes well spent.

Track Listing:
1. Egiziaca (6:57)
2. Cleopatra Through (5:23)
3. Fat (5:03)
4. Vascello (6:05)
5. 02-09 (5:37)
6. Opus Focus (3:51)
7. Bani Ahead (5:20)
8. Pocho (5:51)

Added: January 8th 2012
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 2474
Language: english

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