I quite enjoyed the last release from Moonjune that I reviewed (Geoff Leigh and Yumi Hara's Upstream) but Silvovitz's Hubris lacked any real spark to differentiate it from dozens of other straight-ish jazz releases. Despite the name-dropping of Zappa as an influence, there was nothing on Hubris that reminded me of the man, perhaps with the exception of an eclecticism that not all artists venture to attempt. Even so, and despite a few pastiches on fusions with other "world music" styles, this disc comes across as lacking any real "progressiveness"; it comes across as straight jazz. It might well be that the music comes across better live than on disc but, as the band are Italian, I am unlikely to find out.
A bigger problem than exact genre definition was the lack of any discernable "soul" to the music. Hubris is flat jazz; the variety in arrangements flatter to deceive.
Ludovica Manzo is credited with "vocals" but there is only one "song" on Hubris; the snappily titled "Sono TRanquillo Eppurre Spesso Strillo (STRESS)". This also features a huge choir doing "Thomas Crown Affair"-style vocalisations and a calypso rhythm, following a rocky guitar opening. It doesn't gel. Elsewhere, there are vocalisations without words on a number of compositions but they add no beauty to the music.
"Caldo Bagno" features South African chanting and tom-tom drums before developing into traditional jazz and "Sig. M Rapito dal Vento" has a central European flavour courtesy of some accordion-sounding harmonica playing but neither of these shines brightly. Alto and tenor saxes, violin and vibraphone, as well as the more usual range of instruments, are the musical textures of this rather pale-coloured jazz. In fairness, the instruments are well played but listening to Hubris was like taking a thousand elevator journeys.
1) Zorn a Surriento (4:49)
2) Caldo Bagno (7:31)
3) Mangiare (5:40)
4) Errore di Parallasse (5:58)
5) Né Carne (4:02)
6) Né Pesce (4:32)
7) Dammi un Besh O (6:13)
8) CO2 (3:57)
9) Sono Tranquillo Eppurre Spesso Strillo (4:44)
10) Canguri in 5 (8:45)
11) Tilde (8:53)
12) Sig. M Rapito dal Vento (5:47)