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"WILD YEARS-THE MUSIC & MYTH OF TOM WAITS" BY JAY S. JACOBS

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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Record Reviews > Soulive

MUSIC REVIEWS

Soulive-Soulive (Blue Note)

 

The venerable jazz label Blue Note is in a bit of a new position since the release of Norah Jones' smash debut album.  Long known as a boutique label which is home to some of the most respected names in jazz, people are suddenly looking at the hit-making potential of Blue Note's stable, probably for the first time since the 60s. 

 

Soulive is one of the first bands out of the gate for the imprint since Jones' Grammy sweep, and while Soulive isn't likely to shift as many units as Come Away With Me, it still is a damned good album. 

 

Soulive is a trio of jazz-funk impresarios who also respect a good rock hook.  The opening track "Aladdin" plants some tasty jazz backbeats underneath a squawking guitar line that is slightly reminiscent of the old Edgar Winter Group's axe classic "Frankenstein."  "El Ron" sets a smoother jazz groove with just a hint of blaxploitation wocka-wocka guitar jive. 

 

"Solid" rides on a glassy smooth George Benson-esque riff.  "First Street" is a lovely fusion breakdown, while "One In Seven" is thrilling fuzztone guitar rock.  A delicate (and maybe just a tiny bit too subtle) cover of Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Lenny" just shows off another color in Soulive's palette. 

 

The scarcity of vocal tracks on Soulive ... and the fact it is a live album... make it unlikely to become a huge crossover success, but that's all right.  The guys have an air-tight sound and some real cool influences.  Soulive prove that is more than enough reason to jump onboard.  (5/03)

 

Jay S. Jacobs

 

Copyright 2003 PopEntertainment.com All rights reserved.  Posted: May 20, 2003.

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Copyright 2003 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: May 20, 2003.