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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Slivovitz

Liver

Review by Gary Hill

I've always dug this band. Their combination of fusion with pure jazz, King Crimson-like guitar work and more has filled their studio discs with smoking hot instrumental work. This new live album shows that they are capable of delivering that same sound with a lot of intensity and power in concert. If you like adventurous instrumental music, give this a try. It's one heck of a ride.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Mai Per Comando
The horns bring this thing in with style. It powers out of the gate from there into some killer jamming. There are some intriguing changes as they move forward. It shifts out to some funky stuff for a while before shifting to more freeform type things. It continues to evolve and explore the space with different things leading the way as it works forward. There is some really intense jamming in place here. I really love the hard rocking segment around the four and a half minute mark. It's purely on fire.
Cleopatra Through

There is a lot of world music in the mix on this one. It lands far more in the freeform avant-garde side of things. It has a near constant flux and evolution and really works through some cool shifts and changes. If you don't like where it is, just wait. It gets particularly intense in the final movement.

Curryw├╝rst
There is a definite fun and energetic vibe to a lot of this cut. It's a powerhouse number that really works well. There is some funky and bluesy stuff here. I really love some of the horn work on this, but you clearly cannot ignore the bass playing on this song, either. It gets into some seriously rocking stuff later in the number. This thing is fierce and potent. In fact, this is one of the best performances here.
Egiziaca
This powers right into it. It's a killer jam that really grooves and rocks like crazy. Around the minute and a half mark it drops to something more like spacey jazz. It eventually builds out to more seriously rocking stuff as the cut continues to grow and change. There are definitely some hints of King Crimson in the mix on this thing. Harmonica shows up later as the cut turns out into a jazz meets blues jam that's on fire.
Mani in Faccia
Killer fusion with hints of things like King Crimson bring this into being. When it shifts out into more pure fusion there is some awesome violin work. It drops back mid-track for a guitar solo section. Then that drops away to near silence as they make their way forward. It starts to rise back upward after the five minute mark. The guitar soloing is pretty well on fire as it continues. King Crimson like guitar based stuff ensues as this marches onward. The drums pound away behind that backdrop. The horns rejoin and take control by themselves for a measure or two. Then when the other instruments come back, the horns are still in the driver's seat. The tune continues to shift a bit more before they end it.
Negative Creep
Heavy guitar, nearly metal along with a drum showcase opens this. From there they eventually work out to a powerhouse jam that's like jazz meets thrash. This is so cool. There is a section later that makes me think of Black Sabbath jamming with a weird jazz combo.
Caldobagno
As this opens it feels a bit like some kind of Dixieland jazz thing. This cut works through quite a few changes. There are sections that are more pure fusion. Other sections drop back to mellower, near rock stuff. There are hints of King Crimson at times. Around the five minute mark there is some noisy guitar rock stuff that's pretty crazed. That drops away and a full jazz treatment comes in from there.
 
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