MJR026 Hubris
Produced by Slivovitz and Luca Barassi
Released on September 22, 2009
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
MJR026 cover
[high resolution scan]

T here’s a smear of insanity, a smudge of unreality, that occurs two minutes into the opening “Zorn a Surriento,” and what initially seems like an anomaly is actually a key into decrypting the music of Slivovitz. It tells you that with Hubris there are rules and no rules. The rules are found in the liberal wrinkles of jazz, in the foundational work of students-turned-teachers like Zorn, Zappa, Ponty, Flora & Airto, etc. Slivovitz are jazz connoisseurs with a broad and appreciative palette. Other, limiting rules, however, are discarded. An axis of sax, bass and drums will surprise no one, but who would expect to find harmonica, voice, violin and guitar crouching in the corners, leaping into action? Granted, a septet (as Slivovitz is) would naturally admit a higher mathematical probably for this kind of chaos. The Zappaesque “Mangiare,” for example, doesn’t arrive unexpected. What surprised me is the range of the music--Hubris sounds to be the work of several different bands--and the frequency with which the words “accessible” and “melodic” come to mind. One facet of the band is world jazz with a middle eastern component (I’ve read it referred to as Balkan, and outside of Bartok my knowledge of the Balkans extends mostly to stamp collecting), another is soft and proggy (think of a peaceful, medicated Soft Machine), a third goes gravedigging in the Seventies for funk and African jazz. Their taste for jazz apparently genuine (or, short of that, at least demonstrating a genuine commitment to the intellectual curiosity and experiential open-mindedness of jazz), Slivovitz is free to go slipping through history, across national borders, against convention in unusual instrumental pairings. Although the term “jazz fusion” might be misleading, the band is clearly capable of playing rock music and rarely goes wandering into the woods with weird time signatures or atonal excursions. The rhythm section in particular seems to favor the rock side of the equation (and it’s here that I fall shy of calling them a genuine jazz band, since I’ve been fooled before by the likes of Lounge Lizards). Maybe more on Hubris than other Moonjune recordings, the jazz label falls off and we drink the sweet, unnameable stuff inside wondering where the wine ends and the brandy begins.


  1. ZORN A SURRIENTO    (Pietro Santangelo)    4:49
  2. CALDO BAGNO    (Marcello Giannini/Ludovica Manzo, arr. by Slivovitz & Giovanni Imparato)    7:31
  3. MANGIARE    (Pietro Santangelo)    5:40
  4. ERRORE DI PARALLASSE    (Stefano Costanzo)    5:58
  5. NE CARNE    (Marcello Giannini)    4:02
  6. NE PESCE    (Marcello Giannini)    4:32
  7. DAMMI UN BESH O    (Marcello Giannini)    6:13
  8. CO2    (Domenico Angarano)    3:57
  9. SONO TRANQUILLO EPPURE SPESSO STRILLO    (Pietro Santangelo)    4:44
  10. CANGURI IN 5    (Marcello Giannini/Pietro Santangelo)    8:45
  11. TILDE    (Stefano Costanzo)    8:53
  12. SIG. M RAPITO DAL VENTO    (Domenico Angarano/Derek Di Perri/Marcello Giannini/Pietro Santangelo)    5:47

    All tracks arranged by Slivovitz unless noted


DOMENICO ANGARANO -- electric bass, fretless bass
STEFANO COSTANZO -- drums and percussions
MARCELLO GIANNINI -- electric guitar, acoustic guitar
DEREK DI PERRI -- harmonica
PIETRO SANTANGELO -- alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, vocals
Giovanni Imparato -- bata, percussions & vocals (2)
Marco Pezzenati -- vibraphone (3)
Ugo Santangelo -- acoustic guitar (8)
Luca Barassi -- engineer, mixing
Enrico Rocca -- engineer
Massimo D'Avanzo -- engineer, mixing
Alessandro Rak -- front & back cover artwork
Leonardo Pavkovic -- graphics

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US September 22, 2009 Moonjune CD MJR026  


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