Slivovitz - All You Can Eat

Slivovitz – All You Can Eat

The first time I tried slivovitz I was not sure if I had picked up a bottle of paint-thinner by mistake, but after a four year wait it is good to see a new album from the band of the same name, and All You Can Eat continues Neopolitian collective Slivovitz’s propensity for extremely well played and invigorating jazz rock. Named after a particularly stringent fruit brandy derived from plums, of Central and Eastern European origin, there is nothing caustic about this band, although they can be overpowering – in a good way!

Described on the PR blurb as “The undisputed masters of progressive gypsy electro-eclectic jazz”, Slivovitz are far more than just sprightly Italian folk rhythms mixed with jazz chops, although that would be fun enough in itself. All You Can Eat is an album of light and shade, from the gloriously introspective but hopeful Yahtzee, which dances to a sinuous deep European beat, to the slinky jazz-funk of Currywurster, to the cantering ethno jazz-rock of Mani In Faccia starring a sublime violin solo and some coruscating fret work, all bases are covered.

Passannante has the feel of an extract from a film soundtrack, all urban edge and urbane wit, and this is borne out in the official video for the tune (see above) which is as metaphorically suggestive as the melody it illustrates. The album surprises with occasional tricky time signatures that will get you tapping your feet in all the wrong places, but it is also full of fun and life, and never strays far from a deep-rooted melodic sensibility. Hangover is suitably calming, and delicately slowly rises to a new day. The development of musical themes is central to the band’s composing ethos, and closer Oblio is a fine example of intertwining melodies and counter melodies, and supplies a few twists and turns down a rockier path before returning to the main theme by the end. The sax work here and throughout is especially worthy of mention.

All You Can Eat is a buffet that is worth returning to again and again, an example of very classy ensemble playing that while ostensibly “jazz” should not scare off those to whom the mere mention of the word is anathema. As for the rest of you, just buy it!

01. Persian Night (7:25)
02. Mani In Faccia (5:14)
03. Yahtzee (7:05)
04. Passannante (4:16)
05. Barotrauma (5:41)
06. Hangover (5:28)
07. Currywuster (5:12)
08. Oblio (7:08)

Total time – 47:30

Pietro Santangelo – Tenor & Alto Sax
Marcello Giannini – Electric & Acoustic Guitars
Riccardo Villari – Acoustic & Electric Violin
Ciro Riccardi – Trumpet
Derek Di Perri – Harmonica
Vincenzo Lamagna – Bass Guitar
Salvatore Rainone – Drums

Record Label: Moonjune Records
Catalogue#: MJR074
Year Of Release: 2015

Slivovitz – Facebook | Bandcamp | Moonjune