Exposé Online banner

Slivovitz — Liver
(Moonjune MJR, 2018, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-03-19

Liver Cover art

If you thought that Slivovitz’ two previous albums Bani Ahead (2011) and All You Can Eat (2016) couldn’t be topped, well, think again. LiveR showcases this Italian instrumental powerhouse in a live setting in Milan in May 2016 (with the exception of the final track “Caldo Bagno,” which was recorded in the same month two years earlier, but one wouldn’t know…) and the performance herein is nothing short of stunning, leaving the listener breathless and mind-blown. A unique lineup featuring an ace rhythm section (drummer Salvatore Rainone and bassist Vincenzo Lamagna), guitarist Marcello Giannini, violinist Riccardo Villari, and the reed and horn section featuring Pietro Santangelo (alto and tenor sax), Ciro Riccardo (trumpet), and last but certainly not least Derek Di Perri on harmonica. The opening track “Mai per Comando” is one I don’t recognize from any of the Moonjune studio albums (maybe it's from that impossible-to-find first album), but it introduces the band’s considerable powers; it’s funky, it swings, it rocks hard, it’s gritty, and builds to an aggressive climax over its near six-minute duration, featuring some great harmonica and sax soloing that pushes all the limits. “Cleopatra Through” from Bani Ahead opens with some hard-rocking fun, then gets quiet for an amazing violin solo first, then as the band comes back each of the soloists get their turn in the spotlight, and then amazingly everyone seems to be soloing at once before it all goes back to where it started. “Mani in Faccia” was one of the most memorable tunes on All You Can Eat, but here in the live setting it’s ratcheted up a few notches and stretched out a few minutes longer, giving every player a chance to shine in the spotlight. A cover of the song “Negative Creep” from the first Nirvana album is included, a punchy and angular metal rocker arranged for horn section that is perhaps the heaviest thing in their set – one of those pieces that makes you wish you had been there to witness it. The closing track on the CD (not on the LP version) is the 2014 performance of “Caldo Bagno” from Hubris, a complex tapestry of mayhem and beauty featuring some mighty impressive guitar soloing. From the first song to the last, LiveR smokes hard, and indeed, after listening to this, you’ll need a cigarette!


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Slivovitz

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Janick Top STS - Système Solaire – Janick is back... The monstrous and legendary bassist of the 1973, 1974 and 1976 Magma issues his first solo effort, after years of session-work with variety singers and composing film scores. His...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues