Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Soulive: Get Down 21st Birthday Edition (Vintage League Recordings)




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UK release date 21.03.2021

The vaults get prised open once more at VLM in the shape of this 21st birthday edition of Soulive, recorded in 1999 and now presented and beautifully packaged in heavyweight vinyl.

The self assuredness of these consummate musicians shines through. You can literally hear their trademark sonic signature taking form and opener, "So Live" epitomises this to perfection.

Eric Krasno displays his understated virtuosity with his surgically precise playing mixing funk and jazz like a master baker, backed by Neal Evans' affirmative organ playing and of course, his equally talented brother, pounding the beats that magically glue the whole thing together.

The momentum keeps rolling too (Jabbo Starks stylee) with the jerky, fatback led "Uncle Junior" with Evans this time taking centre stage followed by Kraz's supreme jazzy runs - this has that Grant Green type intensity, effortlessly cool, engaging and positively sizzling off my record deck, especially when the semi tone modulation kicks in! Here's a band who groove hard and play hard, deep organic funk is the order of the day.

"Rudy's Way" mixes a Meters type groove with a very involved head creating a dense visceral tapestry (think NMS on super charged steroids) again some mighty fine soloing is on offer.

"Turn It Out" with its myriad of pretty chords shows just how harmonically advanced these guys are and to think this is them in their purely nascent and experimental start of their musical career. It's a wholly edifying debut, perfectly distilled and a conscious act of a band preserving their integrity. I urge you to give it a spin... this will not disappoint.
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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