Music Reviews

Liquid Soul

Make Some Noise

Ark 21

As their name might suggest, Liquid Soul is a winding stream, babbling brook, or waterfall of soulful musical freshness that defies the “solidity” of definition or category. Fusing jazz, old-school funk goodness, rap/hip-hop, sampling, scratching, improv jamming, and whatever else makes ‘em feel good, ultimately makes YOU feel good! Groovin’ good! Just ask Al Gore, Dennis Rodman, or other whack fans who have touted the “Souls” publicly.

The band is spearheaded by seasoned sax journeyman Mars Williams, whose impressive resume contains the Waitresses, Psychedelic Furs, and NRG Ensemble, to name a few. Williams has masterfully put it all together in what is widely regarded as the hottest “acid jazz” band today. But the Chicago groovesters have not forgotten from whence they came. This intense musical force remains loyal to its fans by playing weekly at Chicago’s Double Door. Yet another testament to what makes a band great – giving props to its roots. This adage also holds true in the subtle and clever samples which are evident throughout Make Some Noise. James Brown, Kurtis Blow, and Dizzy Gillespie, among others, are represented within the beautiful plethora of raps, horns, rhythms and bass slappin’.

Dizzy’s “Salt Peanuts” features Kurt Elling scattin’ about before morphing into the silky raps of Dirty MF. Conversely, vocalist Simone hits the mark on “I Want You to Want Me” – and I don’t mean in a “Cheap Trick” way, either. She injects yet another dimension of smooth to Liquid Soul, as if they needed more diversity! If you still have any doubt that Liquid Soul is not the “Noise with Poise” then quickly scan to track #7, “Cabbage Roll,” and try to convince me every bone in your pessimistic body wasn’t bustin’ loose. If heavy jamming is your game, they got that too – “Opium Jacuzzi” and “No Cents” kick it out!

Pour yourself a heaping serving of Liquid Soul – sip slowly and savor. Feel it flow through your veins. You will be quenched beyond belief! Ark 21, 14724 Ventura Blvd., Penthouse Suite, Sherman Oakes, CA 91403; http://www.ark21.com


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