by Soulive


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The jazz-soul-funk trio's first album away from Blue Note since its early indie days, and only studio release of fresh material since 2002, is another classy old-school-inspired concoction. Guest vocalists pepper the set as Ivan Neville, Corey Glover, Reggie Watts, and especially Chaka Khan serve up their soulful best on about half of the album's tracks, with the rest dedicated to the instrumental '60s and early-'70s-styled funk jams the band is known for. Except for a not terribly innovative but energetic -- even frantic -- cover of Hendrix's "Crosstown Traffic" with guest Robert Randolph, the disc boasts all original compositions. Most work well, but they sound like you've heard them before, maybe with a different title 30 years ago. "Freedom" in particular veers too closely to the Isley Brothers' "That Lady," blurring the line between inspiration and replication. Guitarist Eric Krasno's "Vapor" seems like it was grabbed from a John Scofield funk album and, for those old enough to remember, Chaka Khan's turn on "Back Again" can't help but be reminiscent of any number of Rufus tunes, right down to the double-tracked vocals. None of this is a deal breaker, though, because the bandmembers clearly have their hearts in the right place, shuffling through their musty albums like a deck of cards and landing on an ace more often than not. Those who come from the Crusaders era of jazz-funk will have no problem warming up to any of this, and when Ivan Neville kicks up his best Sly Stone on "Got Soul," it's nearly impossible to ignore the spirit -- just shake your hips and go with the flow. They're not reinventing the wheel, but the bandmembers' refreshing refusal to pander to a hip-hop audience by hiring a guest MC is not just commendable, it's unique. About the only concession the band makes to contemporary electronics is adding a few drum loops and distorting Cochemea Gastelum's rubbery alto sax on "Glad ta Know Ya," but even that sounds retro in its own way. Despite its title, the album is no breakout for the threesome, but it reinforces Soulive's groovalishious talents and remains a stimulating listen for established fans.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/13/2005
Label: Concord Records
UPC: 0013431230229
catalogNumber: 2302
Rank: 81852

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Soulive   Primary Artist
Ivan Neville   Vocals
Robin Eubanks   Trombone
Chaka Khan   Vocals
Corey Glover   Vocals
Cochemea Gastelum   Alto Saxophone
Ryan Zoidis   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Group Member
Reggie Watts   Vocals
Robert Randolph   Pedal Steel Guitar,Track Performer
Neal Evans   Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Clavinet,fender rhodes,Group Member,Hammond B3
Alan Evans   Drums,Rhythm Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Fuzz Guitar,Group Member
Eric Krasno   Acoustic Guitar,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Group Member
Rashawn Ross   Trumpet,Group Member
Jordan Battiste   Background Vocals
Lasim Richards   Trombone
Danny Sandownick   Percussion

Technical Credits

Jimi Hendrix   Composer
Jeff Patrick Krasno   Executive Producer
Ryan Zoidis   Arranger
Ira Schick   Producer
Soulive   Composer,Audio Production
Neal Evans   Arranger
Alan Evans   Producer
Eric Krasno   Programming,Producer,Audio Production
Rashawn Ross   Arranger,Horn Arrangements
Jason Anderson   Management

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