Sunday, November 08, 2009
A Heady Brew
On first listen, the second album by this Italian outfit sounds rather like a bull charging through a record shop, dragging all kinds of musical styles along in its chaotic wake.
The 12 tracks present as funk work-outs, African-tinged call-and-response choruses, fusiony introspection, a Balkan folk twist or two, and the odd Mahavishnu-like surge. Yet these pan-cultural influences are pressed into the service of an incredibly strong melodic sensibility that is both accessible and challenging when it needs to be.
World music only in the sense that this music isn’t hemmed in by any geographic borders or stylistic boundaries, the serpentine tunes are accented by Ludovica Manzo’s wordless vocalese, complementing the jazzy grace of Pietro Santangelo’s confident, expansive sax work. Top marks also for Marcello Giannini’s subtle guitar.
Slivovitz’s collective lightness of touch ensures a recording that is as refreshing as it is impressive.