SOULIVE

Funk Jazz / Soul Jazz / RnB / Nu Jazz • United States
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Soulive is a jazz organ trio that originated in Woodstock, New York. The band consists of Eric Krasno (guitar), Alan Evans (drums), and Neal Evans (Hammond B3 organ, basskeys, clavinet). The band is also usually accompanied by its horn section, which formerly consisted of Sam Kininger (saxophone), but now features Rashawn Ross (trumpet) and Ryan Zoidis (saxophone).

Soulive has greatly expanded their sound since their inception in 1999. They have played with highly respected musicans such as John Scofield, Warren Haynes, Sam Kininger, Dave Matthews, Chaka Kahn, Robert Randolph, and Ivan Neville. Their 6 studio releases (Get Down!, Turn It Out, Doin' Something, Next, and Breakout) have been produced by respected labels Blue Note Records, Velour Recordings, and most recently the rising Concord Records. They have a self-titled live album that was released in 2003, and they permit audience taping and distribution of their shows (which can
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SOULIVE Discography

SOULIVE albums / top albums

SOULIVE Turn It Out album cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
Turn It Out
Soul Jazz 2000
SOULIVE Doin' Something album cover 4.58 | 4 ratings
Doin' Something
Funk Jazz 2001
SOULIVE Next album cover 3.38 | 3 ratings
Next
Funk Jazz 2002
SOULIVE Get Down! album cover 3.90 | 3 ratings
Get Down!
Soul Jazz 2002
SOULIVE Turn It Out [Remixed] album cover 3.38 | 3 ratings
Turn It Out [Remixed]
Funk Jazz 2003
SOULIVE Break Out album cover 2.92 | 3 ratings
Break Out
Funk Jazz 2005
SOULIVE No Place Like Soul album cover 1.50 | 2 ratings
No Place Like Soul
RnB 2007
SOULIVE Up Here album cover 4.73 | 2 ratings
Up Here
Funk Jazz 2009
SOULIVE Rubber Soulive album cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
Rubber Soulive
Funk Jazz 2010
SOULIVE Soulive & Karl Denson ‎: Spark! album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Soulive & Karl Denson ‎: Spark!
Funk Jazz 2012

SOULIVE EPs & splits

SOULIVE Cinematics Vol. 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Cinematics Vol. 1
Nu Jazz 2018

SOULIVE live albums

SOULIVE Soulive album cover 4.25 | 3 ratings
Soulive
Funk Jazz 2003
SOULIVE Instant Live: Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach, CA 10/12/04 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Instant Live: Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach, CA 10/12/04
Funk Jazz 2004
SOULIVE Instant Live: The Canal Club, Richmond, VA 11/13/04 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Instant Live: The Canal Club, Richmond, VA 11/13/04
Funk Jazz 2004
SOULIVE Instant Live: Granada, Lawrence, KS 10/04/04 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Instant Live: Granada, Lawrence, KS 10/04/04
Funk Jazz 2004
SOULIVE Live At Blue Note Tokyo album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Live At Blue Note Tokyo
Funk Jazz 2010

SOULIVE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SOULIVE re-issues & compilations

SOULIVE Steady Groovin' album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Steady Groovin'
Funk Jazz 2005

SOULIVE singles (0)

SOULIVE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

SOULIVE Reviews

SOULIVE Rubber Soulive

Album · 2010 · Funk Jazz
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darkshade
Soulive plays funky, instrumental soul-jazz versions of Beatles songs. Clever title for the album. The songs translate well to Soulive's sound. It's the original trio here, no horns, no guests. Just Soulive. They play a lot of the hits. The band blends the tunes so well with their own style, you sometimes forget you're listening to, essentially, a Beatles cover album, and really just listening to a great Soulive record.

"Drive My Car" is a nice laid back soul-jazz excursion, and "Taxman" really sounds cool in this context. Eric Krasno handles a lot of the vocal melodies on guitar, and plays them with such feel, that you could just sing along with them. "In My Life" and "Eleanor Rigby" get a real jazzy treatment here; the latter is really cool, really fast drum beat used here.

"I Want You (She's So Heavy)" is probably the best song here, mainly because this song just works for a band like Soulive. Great guitar parts, organ, plenty of groovy bass. This is also the closest I've heard Soulive get to a 'rock' sound.

They make "Come Together" real funky. I heard Chapter 2 (One of Krasno's side projects) play this song in a similar way to how it is here, when they opened up for Umphrey's McGee. That was good, but this version might be just a little better. The best version was Soulive playing this live when I saw them last year. I think this song is a staple in their live shows right now. Great way to cover this song.

The rest of the album is fantastic. Other highlights are "Something", which gets the soulful treatment, "Help" is nice and jazzy, and the album ends, fittingly, with "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", and man does Krasno make his guitar weep. He has so much soul in his playing, he puts John and George to shame. Yea, I said it!

Surely a good album, and if you like The Beatles and wonder how Soulive handle their songs, this one will probably turn you on. The classic Soulive sound is here, so this could be a good album to start with them, but I'd say get one of their other albums first before getting this.

SOULIVE Up Here

Album · 2009 · Funk Jazz
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darkshade
Soulive had done a lot of things by 2009, they mastered their own style of soul-jazz/funk-jazz, experimented with hip-hop successfully, and tried some other things like pop, reggae, and R&B on the previous album, to more or less poor results.

So, coming off of their poorly-received last album, the band dropped their one-time lead singer/front man, and decided to go back to their roots and just be the original Soulive trio. But that wasn't enough, they wanted horns, so they got The Shady Horns who had been playing with Lettuce (Eric Krasno and Neal Evans's other band).

But Soulive hardly repeat themselves. This wasn't going to be a "Doin' Something" part 2. On this album, instead of evenly fusing soul-jazz with funk-jazz, the band really dives deep, and I mean DEEP, into the funk. The horns are given a bigger role in the music than ever before. Dare I say, the horns steal the show. They channel a lot of the greats of the 70s like P-Funk, James Brown, and Tower of Power. Another change of pace is the production. Gone are the slick productions. The sound here is raw and dirty, kinda sounds like it was recorded in 1969 or something. Everything is clear, just with a bite. The bass really sticks out because of it, and I think that's great. You might really think this came out in the late 60s or early 70s, if you saw that the album is only 40 minutes!

"Up Right" gets things going. Big horns start the show, and the first thing we get is a bad-ass riff, and a lot of piano, surprisingly. There's an organ solo, but mostly piano from Evans. This is one of the coolest Soulive songs.

Next song starts with what sounds like the intro to a prog rock song, but then moves back to the funk. Another awesome riff. Everyone is doing new things, no bag of tricks here.

Nigel Hall, the VIP member of Soulive and Lettuce (for seemingly always guesting on their albums lately) shows up for "Too Much" on vocals. Now, sometimes Soulive's vocal tracks aren't the best songs, but when Nigel Hall is singing, it's ok. He's a great singer (and great keyboardist, but doesn't play here), and the songs he's guested on are generally great. This one's got a bit of 70s Stevie Wonder to it. Nice bluesy solo from Krasno.

I swear, "Backwards Jack" sounds like it came directly from a Lettuce session, which is not surprising as Eric Krasno and Neal Evans are both members of that band, as are most of the horn players. Hell Sam Kininger is using that same wah sound for his sax solo that he uses in Lettuce. Lettuce has a different feel than Soulive; Lettuce is more funk, and a bit of dub/electronic. I guess with Soulive being more funk on this album, a song like this would have happened. Of course, Neal is playing a little more organ than he would in Lettuce, and there's no bassist here obviously.

After all that funk, we need a break, and unlike Lettuce, Soulive provide some down time. "PJs" is a lovely soul-jazz cut, with some beautiful organ flurries, and some of the soulful guitar by Krasno. This man is so underrated as a guitarist, he really is the modern day answer to Pat Martino and John Scofield, but he plays much more aggressive. Here, his playing is delicate, a little bluesy, and full of dynamic. The light horns accent the phrasing so well. Great song.

"Tonight" is a good funk song. Really James Brown feeling going on here, which is never bad. Everyone is on fire here, really in the pocket.

YEA! "Hat Trick" is one of my favorites from this album. Just a bumpin' song, full of great horns. I love the big baritone sax here, the horns in general are very much showcased on this song.

I think the band couldn't not at least include one soul/funk-jazz tune here. "For Granted" brings us back to the early Soulive albums, of course with the production quality here, it sounds more like if the band was around in the late 60s, especially with that bari sax solo. Wow. Really great tune again.

I used to not like the last song, "Prototype" for it's heavy R&B slant, but over time, Ive realized that the band is so tight, that it doesn't matter. And the vocals aren't bad, there's actually great harmonies. It's just a great soul and R&B song, and there are moments of really funky bass from Neal Evans' foot pedals. Excellent soloing from Krasno as we fade out. End of the album already? I'm not even done typing this review?

This is one of Soulive's best albums. I remember when this came out, I had been a fan for some time, but was really disappointed in their last couple of albums, and I remember picking this one up, and just thinking "They're back, and better than before". And 3 years later, I still see this album as their return to greatness (not that they were ever really bad anyway).

This is Soulive's funk album. There's hints of jazz and soul, but the band were really harnessing their funk energy on this one, and it shows. Bad-ass riffs, powerhouse horns, rough and dirty keys and organ, and tight drums.

One of the best funk albums in a very long time, I'm serious! Sounds like James Brown on a bad night ;)

SOULIVE Soulive

Live album · 2003 · Funk Jazz
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darkshade
A band with the word 'live' in their name would have to mean that they are great live, right? You couldn't be more correct when talking about Soulive. This band knows how to groove, and in the live setting, they are phenomenal. The great thing about this album is that it sounds like a studio album, if not for the crowd noise at certain moments. The production is so clear and open. Another great thing about this live album is the inclusion of tunes that I believe are not on any of their studio albums, like "Aladdin", with the most wah'ed out guitar and wah'ed out Hammond B-3 organ; which by the way, is all over this album, giving the album a unique quality unlike their studio albums.

This is one of those live albums that is just as essential as the band's studio albums.

The tunes played from the band's repertoire at this point in time (2002) are even better than their studio counterparts. The energy is so high on every track, the band is just laying it down every time. This is some of the most in-the-pocket stuff you'll ever hear in this lifetime. Eric Krasno plays great licks left and right, but it's his rhythm work that gets me every time. Besides comping the best chords, he has a wah pedal going a lot of the time, which is not heard often on the studio albums, or even at their shows nowadays, but with the wah'ed out organ, it's wah-wah city.

Speaking of the organ, let us not forget that there is no bass player in this band. Neal Evans provides the bass with his foot pedals from his organ, all the while playing virtuosic, wild parts and comping funky riffs. I gotta say, Evans has to be one of the best Hammond B-3 organ players alive. Brother Alan Evans also tears it down on drums, as always, and really holds the band together. His beats are some of the funkiest, but he has restraint. And he knows how to lay back, along with the rest of the band, like on the real soulful and laid back cover of Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Lenny". This is some of the most intimate music, and shows why Soulive might possibly be the best soul/funk-jazz band in the business.

Any fan of Soulive should have this live album. Any fan of soul-jazz or funk-jazz will explode at how awesome this band can be. Enjoy.

SOULIVE No Place Like Soul

Album · 2007 · RnB
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darkshade
Soulive tried their luck with a full-time vocalist/front man for "No Place Like Soul" Toussaint, who sounds kind of like a really bad Lenny Kravitz. They also worked on more structured song formats, and while I commend them for trying new things, as they usually do every album, here it seems that they failed at whatever they were attempting here.

Some of the cuts are OK, like the opening track "Waterfall". But most songs are completely ruined by the singer Toussaint. I don't know if it's his voice, maybe he shouldn't be singing in this context, or if the band is not playing anything that great. I think it's a mix of all 3. But the vocals do not fit here, and I'm not sure Toussaint is even that good of a vocalist. The music is very much more along the pop vein, a little R&B, a little reggae, and a little soul. But with very simple structures, and what the band is actually playing is, frankly, a little boring. I cannot mention any stand outs, aside from the opening track, which is not that great as it is anyway. Nothing is very memorable here.

There are 2 instrumentals for those curious if the band completely abandoned their soul-jazz/funk-jazz sound. Naturally, they're the best cuts off this album. "Outrage" is one of them, and is a pretty decent faster, hard edged soul-jazz tune. The other is "Bubble". A slow rock-ish jam, that doesn't really do much for me overall.

The two instrumentals are not enough to save this album. Luckily, this is the only album with Toussaint on vocals. The band was probably aware of how ill-received this album was when it came out, and they abandoned the pop/reggae/R&B sound on future albums.

Side note: I have a copy of this album with 2 live bonus tracks at the end, and they are older Soulive tunes from their debut album, and these smoke. If you want these, I recommend getting these from iTunes or something, so you only have to pay $0.99 per track.

This album is only for the Soulive completionist, or if you like the pop/R&B sound the band created here. DO NOT start with this album if you are new to Soulive. It may ruin your perception of the band, and just about any of their other albums are better than this one.

SOULIVE Break Out

Album · 2005 · Funk Jazz
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darkshade
A good Soulive album. Nowhere near their best, but there is some strong material here. The beats are groovy, guitars and keys are top notch, of course. Unfortunately, the band has allowed a lot of guests on the album, many of them collaborated with the band, and thus, they provided vocals for these songs. While some of them are not bad vocals, they're not anything special either, and some of the vocals are terrible. With that, the albums goes from funk-jazz, to soul, to R&B, to hip-hop. A little all over the place.

The album also has 3 Interlude tracks, maybe to give the album a cohesive feel, which I never thought they had a problem with on previous albums anyway, but they're each a minute long on average, so they almost feel like filler tracks.

The great:

After the first Interlude track, the album starts out pretty good, as "Reverb" is a nice slice of funky soul-jazz.

"Cachacha" is a more Spanish flavored instrumental track with the traditional Soulive sound, kind of a rare mood to find in this band's music. Not bad, though a little smooth at times. The title track is also a great tune. Mysterious in it's funky glory, but also melodic. Maybe the best song on the album.

Pretty good cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Crosstown Traffic". Nice fuzzed out, wah'ed out guitar from Eric Krasno, in tribute to Jimi, I'm sure. Krasno does not try to sound like him, though, and plays more in his own style, but with those effects I mentioned. It's cool to hear him in this way, as he usually does not rely on any effects.

The good:

The the first of the vocal tracks, "Got Soul" kind of reminds me of The Meters, which ain't bad. The music just doesn't seem memorable, with or without the vocals.

"Take It Easy" starts out so promising, and is not a bad track, but the vocals are just kind of there. This would be better without the vocals, as it's some good mid-tempo funk. "Vapor" is another mid-tempo tune, with some nice Scofield-esque guitar work and trumpet solo, but just another OK song.

The not-so-good:

Chaka Khan makes an appearance on "Back Again", well, I just do not like these vocals. Mixed with the type of music being played, it's too R&B for me. "She's Hooked" is ruined by the awful vocals. I feel bad because the beat is tight here, and there's some nice clavinet. The guitar melody is a little annoying though. "What Can You Do" is even worse. These vocals are just so bad and whiny.

Everything else is just very unmemorable.

All in all, a very up and down album for me. While the good tracks are good, they aren't the best tunes that the band have released; before or since this album. And unfortunately, most of the vocal tracks bring this album down considerably.

This is more for fans of Soulive, as there IS good stuff here, and the good outweighs the bad, but I would not recommend this for the casual fan or newbie. Too many tracks I feel like skipping. 2 1/2 stars really, but I'll bump it up to 3 for the good songs, and because the band themselves are tight.

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