Soulive are the heirs to the organ trio tradition of Jimmy Smith, Richard "Groove" Holmes, and Reuben Wilson. Eric Krasno's contemplative guitar figures set up washes of blissful organ, which descend from the heavens through the supple fingers of Neal Evans, easing your mind with earth-bound transmissions of pure soul as Alan Evans keeps the groove going on drums. Compositions progress through multiple sections, each with its own simple, catchy melody or break, sometimes repeated until it becomes a ritual; you're satisfied in knowing exactly what's going to come next. The band's improvisations are firmly blues-rooted but branch out into some clever Bop alterations without losing their sense of melody. Krasno's soulful, fluid lines give way to funky, itchy figures well behind the beat, as Evans' organ drones its way deep into your subconscious or noisily states its purpose with Leslie-drenched squeals. These are some of the deepest soul jazz grooves going today.
Soulive Concert Films
Bowlive: Live at the Brooklyn Bowl
Runtime: 2 hr 12 minIn March of 2010, the members of Soulive hauled their instruments through the doors of a newly-opened warehouse-turned-music venue in Brooklyn that they would call home for the next two weeks. Eric Krasno, Alan Evans and Neal Evans called on a multitude of their closest friends and musical conspirators to join them over the next fortnight - creating an incredibly broad guest lineup that included some of the pre-eminent guitar virtuosos of our generation (Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes), some of the biggest names in hip-hop (Questlove, Rahzel), and some of the most inventive improvisational players in modern rock n' roll (Robert Randolph, Marco Benevento, Oteil & Kofi Burbridge). The Brooklyn Bowl quickly became the mecca for these very distinct yet like-minded musicians, where they returned night after night, donning the dress code for good times (bowling shoes) and sharing famous Blue Ribbon fried chicken. The common thread that tied together all these disparate ingredients quickly became palpable -- from the transcendental heartfelt improvisations onstage to the homey & playful atmosphere provided by the bowling alley, the Soulive residency was like nothing that had come before it because all of those diverse elements fused to ultimately bring the Soul to Brooklyn Bowl.
Soulive Top Tracks
The Night James Brown Saved Boston
Runtime: 1 hr 14 minApril 5, 1968. It is the day after one of the most catastrophic moments in the history of the civil rights movement. Backstage at the Boston Garden, the mood is somber, appropriately funereal. Just 24 hours ago, Martin Luther King, Jr., the most important and beloved African American leader in America, has been assassinated, and though James Brown is booked that night for a show, nobody really wants to go onstage and play: On April 4, 1968, the leader of the nonviolent resistance movement, Martin Luther King, was assassinated in Memphis; On April 5, 1968, James Brown sang, and the city of Boston didn't burn down. This film tells the story of the pivotal role that James Brown-and that particular James Brown concert-played in the political, social and cultural history of the country, focusing on 1968, a defining year for America. Using actual performance footage and the personal recollections of James Brown's band members, friends like activist Reverend Al Sharpton, personal manager Charles Bobbitt, Princeton University Professor Dr. Cornel West, Boston citizens, those who attended the concert, politicians (such as former Boston Mayor Kevin White) and Newsweek's David Gates, The Night James Brown Saved Boston tells the compelling story of an artist at the absolute peak of his powers using his artistry for the greater good.
Live at Montreux 2003
Runtime: 1 hr 34 minThe Crusaders were one of the pioneers of jazz-funk music in the 1970s and have made a number of visits to Montreux over the years. This broadcast focuses on their performance from 2003 when the band were touring in support of their album 'Rural Renewal'. Founder members Joe Sample and Wilton Felder were joined in the line-up by Ray Parker Jr on guitar and the inimitable Randy Crawford on vocals. They delivered a set that spanned their career from early days up to their latest album capped with a stunning nine minute plus performance of their classic 'Street Life' and finished off with a fun rendition of Ray Parker Jr’s 'Ghostbusters'.
New Morning: The Paris Concert
Runtime: 1 hr 56 minJohn is considered one of the most important and influential jazz guitarists and composers since he arrived on the scene in the mid '70s. A masterful improviser at the peak of his creative art, Scofield revisits compositions & interpretations richly combining post-bop, funk-edged jazz, and R&B influences. This brilliant performance by John Scofield (backed by master drummer Bill Stewart, bassist Ben Street and pianist Michael Eckroth) is a true gem.