You might call Soulive a band on the run. The jazz-funk trio consisting of guitarist Eric Krasno, organist Neal Evans and his brother Alan on drums, has been touring non-stop since the release of its debut album in 1999. They recently took some well-deserved time off the concert trail to hire a new member, and record their fourth album Next." Soulive is the group that's been putting the rhythm back into jazz.
Soulive has been described as a "jam band playing groove-jazz." A few years ago they might have been called "acid jazz." Before acid jazz, there was fusion. And long before fusion, the kind of jazz that had young people filling the dance floor was simply referred to as "swing." Soulive swings, but these under-30 musicians also delve into their own music, including R&B, rock, soul, funk and hip-hop.
"Liquid" features Neal Evans on the Hammond B-3 organ. Vermont-native Neal Evans began as a drummer but mastered the Hammond B-3 while taking courses at the Manhattan School of Music.
Alan Evans learned to play drums from his father. He played in a marching band before joining The Groove, later dubbed "Moon Boot Lover."
Neal and Alan then formed The Elements, a hip-hop/soul group that became two-thirds of Soulive. They were living near Woodstock, New York, when they recruited Boston guitarist Eric Krasno to play on Soulive's self-produced debut album Get Down.
Saxophonist Sam Kininger is featured on the track "Flurries." He has been a part of Soulive's lineup since the beginning. A former student at the Berklee School of Music and the Thelonious Monk Institute, Kininger became a permanent member of Soulive with the release of their new album Next.
All but two of the cuts on the CD are originals. One of the non-originals is Ani DeFranco's tune featuring singer Dave Matthews, "Joyful Girl."
After an appearance at Jazz Fest in New Orleans, Soulive will travel west to open for Dave Matthews in California, Washington and Canada.