Slivovitz – Bani Ahead

Not so long ago I fınished the first bottle of the plum brandy produced by this Napolitan fusion ensemble and 2011 brings another opus released through MoonJune Records called Bani Ahead. The passionate followers of Prog Sphere probably remember this band from the fourth edition of the Progstravaganza compilation series, in which we presented the band with the song Dammi Un Besh O. This is Slivovitz’s third full-length album and judging by the work shown on the record, Bani Ahead is less of a fusion release than its predecessor.

From the opening tacts of Egiziaca there is evident prudence threading throughout the album’s flow. Ethnic motifs are still the backbone of Slivovitz’s variant of fusion, but this particular segment is also significantly decreased when this questions pops up. The question arises “so what is it then that Slivovitz brings on Bani Ahead?“

The experimentation goes a different direction this time than was a case with Hubris. The septet’s will to broaden the borders of the genre by leaning towards a more rocking style is definitely positive. The decisive rhythm section on Cleopatra Through is like a hybrid of Return to Forever and King Crimson, two similar but still different enough giants. Villari’s violin and Di Perri’s harmonica together with Santagelo’s powerful saxwork makes this piece being the first highlight of the album.

Fat, by its atmosphere, dwells between alternative rock sound and fusion. It’s kind of an ambient piece establishing a coming-and-going feeling separated through the rhythm changes during the track’s playtime. Not mentioning Di Perri’s harmonica solo is cause for condemnation, as the man delivers very inspiring work. At the other side, Vascello is a type of songs which from the dull start develops into a real fusion-rocking epic (although lacking for minutes and with a sudden break around its middle) and that’s what we get here.

02-09 follows, bringing up very nice introductory melody accompanied by violin and sentient drumming of Salvatore Rainone. Opus Focus being the shortest song on the album mostly relies on classic jazz patterns in a combination with ambient walls. The title track is the closest the work from the previous album, but then again jazz rock comes forth to underline its significance on Bani Ahead. Pocho, with clear sound of saxophone and palms clapping is the closing piece and a point of wonder of Slivovitz’s streaming after this record.

Where does this album stand in the running discography? Time will tell, but it is certainly a nice addition and a good example of how jazz rock with a fusion backround sounds in 2011. Another bottle of this quality brandy is finished. I want more.


01. Egiziaca
02. Cleopatra Through
03. Fat
04. Vascello
05. 02-09
06. Opus Focus
07. Bani Ahead
08. Pocho


* Domenico Angarano – bass guitar
* Derek Di Perri – harmoncia
* Marcello Giannini – guitar
* Salvatore Rainone – drums
* Ciro Riccardi – trumpet
* Pietro Santangelo – tenor and soprano sax
* Riccardo Villari – violin


Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

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