SLIVOVITZ — LiveR (review)

SLIVOVITZ — LiveR album cover Live album · 2017 · Eclectic Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
js
Possibly the best fusion band you’ve never heard of, Slivovitz is one of those groups that deserves much wider recognition. Although they started out as an eclectic rock band with fusion leanings, over the years, and through a change-up in the rhythm section, Slivovitz has blossomed into a full blown fusion outfit that can go toe to toe and blow for blow with anybody. This latest album that includes live recordings from 2016 finds the band hitting new peaks and finalizing their status as current fusion heavyweights. All of the tunes on “LiveR” come from their previous two studio albums, but here they are given new life as the band has grown at a rapid rate. Although all of their music more or less falls under the broad umbrella of fusion, their eclectic tendencies remain intact as they perform complex arrangements that draw from funk, prog, the Middle East, blues rock and more.

One of the more striking aspects to Slivovitz is their sound. With a front line ‘horn’ section that includes harmonica, sax, trumpet and violin, they obviously aren’t going to sound like anyone else. It is an entirely un-slick sound, pleasingly raw and ragged, and with their penchant for melodies from Eastern Europe and the Middle East, they can often sound ‘gypsy’ like. Slivovitz can also use all of these instruments to make interesting orchestrations, which they often do while indulging their appreciation for fast changing prog rock style arrangements. This is a live album and everyone gets plenty of solo room and many of the intense solos are the highlight of the record, particularly the rides by saxophonist, Pietro Santangelo.

Album opener “Mai Per Comando” is a top track with its upbeat punk funk reminiscent of the early days of Bill Laswell’s Material. “Currywurst” features JB’s style funk in a somewhat frantic and slightly fractured mode. “Negative Creep” is actually the Nirvana song and Slivovitz plays it hard and heavy in that same style. “Caldo Bagno” is a bonus track that features a burning distorted guitar solo from Marcello Giannini.
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