Slivovitz, All You Can Eat, 2015
Despite this being the fourth release of this Italian progressive eclectic gypsy jazz septet (what???), and the third on MoonJune Records, it is the first time I hear anything by them. After a 4 year hiatus, they serve us this platter (pun intended) with 8 new songs. And yes, the press sheet rambles on with variations on meals and so on, so we are not going to take that route.
First a look at the instruments within the band: tenor and alt sax, electric and acoustic violin, trumpet and harmonica, along side guitars, drums and bass. Not your average formation. And hints at why MoonJune refers to this as post-Zappa modern jazz, a phrase that certainly caught my attention.
Listening to the album, I am pleased to say it is by far more melodic as I had hoped for. Sure, there are some parts that come across as improvised on the spot, but that is mainly regarding the solos on various instruments. Overal the songs all have themes and melodies that are recognisable as such. And the mood swings within are quite enjoyable as well. Of course this music is not your average radio pulp, there is still too much going on for those who are not into the music this label releases.
But for me Slivovitz succeed in delivering interesting themes and songs and the instrumentation mentioned surely adds an extra dimension to the appeal. Give them a try!