SOULIVE : : LIVE IN NYC VOL. 1, 2, & 3 (DiscLive 2004)

Dripping with cool, jazzy compositions from start to finish, Live in NYC documents Soulive's monumental run at the Tribeca Rock Club from July 29, 30, and 31, 2004. This is the band's first ever full-performance recording and their second release of live recordings, following last year's eponymous Soulive that was culled from various U.S. shows in 2003. The Live in NYC engagements shine not just because of top-rate sound in an intimate setting, but because the band recruited various horn players to join them each night.

Alan Evans on drums, Neal Evans on organ, and Eric Krasno on guitar confidently uphold their jazz-funk powerhouse status in these shows, but their sound is expanded tremendously from a well-rounded guest horn section from likes of Ryan Zoidis, Ron Blake, and Sam Kininger on sax; Rashawn Ross and Keyon Harold on trumpet; and Robin Eubanks on trombone. Zoidis' sax flourishes are particularly noteworthy.

A smattering of intriguing cover songs like Hendrix's "Crosstown Traffic" and several new tunes throughout the sets offer a little something for everyone and a taste of what's to come down the road. Soulive standbys get some new arrangements along with trademark tasty solos. Each night's show is captured on two discs and only 1,000 copies of each were released by the distributor. Downloads of all the shows, however, are available through Soulive's web site.

Soulive's sound is both old and new. It's a funky and sophisticated cousin of hip-hop that bears the torch of chicken-shacking, Hammond-grinding, and Earth, Wind & Fire-ing. These six live sets don't disappoint that legacy.

Haig Assadourian
JamBase | Colorado
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[Published on: 12/1/04]

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