As the temperatures have been increasing steadily in Montreal, so is the number of good shows as Jazz Fest is just 'round the corner. Friday night I went to see Soulive for the very first time. It was their second visit here and I can tell you they didn't let us down. But before getting into the review of the show.I have to tell you about the opening act: Kudu.

All I can say is that I'm in love. I'm in love with that band and especially with Sylvia Gordon, the singer. Her brand of soulful/jazzy vocals a la Erika Baduh mixed with trip-hop or drum'n'bass rythms created by this drum machine called Deantoni Parks is infectious. Ms. Gordon exudes a lot of sensuality in her stage presence and she backs it up with a sultry voice and intelligent lyrics about love and relationships. Keyboardists Nick Kasper and Peter Stoltzman round up the band and provide the sonic tapestry in which Deantoni weaves his web of intricate beats and Ms. Gordon bears her soul. Words can describe so little, go see that band at all costs and do yourself a favor and pick up their eponymous CD. It's that good!

After my infatuation with Kudu ,it was time to get down with Soulive and man, they did not disappoint. Opening the show with "One In Seven" from their latest CD, Doin Something, they got the show going on the right track from the start. They stretched it with little jamlets showcasing each one's talent on their instruments. They didn't pause there though, following with a scorching rendition of "Uncle Junior" that had the small crowd grooving wildly. Then my memory gets sketchy about the setlist except that I remember "Jesus Children" with an unbelievable talk-box solo that dropped my jaw to the floor and "Bridge To 'Bama" and that dubby space jam at the end as highlights.

Near the end they welcomed the guys from Kudu except Ms. Gordon (too bad!) on stage and they jammed on a 2-chord progression house/techno style in which everyone got their part to shine. This jam was so sweet. They encored with a Stevie Ray Vaughn song(I don't remember the title) and their powerhouse "So Live!" which got stretched in all directions for what seemed a long time and then it was over...

Looking forward to another Soulive fix at the Gathering of the Vibes!

Dany Cote | Montreal, Canada
Go See Live Music!

[Published on: 6/18/01]

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