At the heart of Liquid Soul's sound, as always, is the fierce musicianship of the band itself. There's the renowned Liquid Soul horn section consisting of:
Mars Williams - Sax
Tommy Klein - Guitar
Josh Ramos - Bass (Phil Ajjarapu was bass on CD)
Tony "Kickdrum" Taylor - Drums
Doug Corcoran - Trumpet & Keyboards
Mr.Greenweedz - MC (Vocals)
David "Boy Elroy" Arredondo - Beatbox & Turntables
LIQUID SOUL HISTORY
Having exploded from a small underground street-jazz sound in Chicago, The Liquid Soul universe has been expanding at a dizzying pace. The Chicagoensemble's trademark mixture of jazz and urban dance music has virtually outgrown the term "acid jazz," incorporating everything from hard-bop to hip-hop in their celebrated sound. Down Beat magazine says Liquid Soul "sweeps the mold and mildew out of jazz-funk and breathes it back to glorious life." With a marathon touring schedule that has included everything from performing at the Presidential Inaugural Parade to headlining the first acid-jazz performance at the Newport Jazz Festival, Liquid Soul has evolved into an intuitively tight outfit that knows no stylistic limitations. The amalgamation of genres created by the 8-piece collective is a blend of pure musicianship, a fiercely passionate fire and the inherent fun of a pure dance groove. The result is a unique live music experience that draws a diverse legion of fans, spanning across multiple age and ethnic groups.
At long last, Liquid Soul is back with the follow-up to its 2000 Grammy-nominated CD,Here's the Deal (Shanachie). Evolution, the band's fourth recording, gives evidence that the dynamic unit has continued to develop its infectious trademark sound and take it to new heights. Liquid Soul called on the help of Grammy-nominated producer Maurice Joshua (N'Sync and Destiny's Child) and Frayne P. Lewis, the son of Ramsey Lews, this time around. The result is a fresh mix of butt-kicking jams, driving jazz-inspired tracks and hot dance numbers. Fans of Liquid Soul will be thrilled by the album's extra live tracks which capture the sheer magnetic energy of the band. Highlights include "Action Jackson," the rambunctious opener with the killer horn intro and thumping bass; "Sun Ra," the smooth and ethereal tribute to the celestial king; "Nina's in Jail," the funky spoken-word track reminiscent of Deborah Harry's "Rapture"; and the overpowering and live dance track "Rage Experiment."
The story of Liquid Soul goes back to 1994, when the band was at the forefront of a surging acid-jazz movement in the greater Midwest. Evolving from free-form hip-hop jams, the band coalesced spontaneously and soon found a home every Sunday night atChicago's Elbo Room. Word spread fast, attracting like-minded individuals to the small stage from far and wide. Thanks to these auspicious midnight marathons, Liquid Soul soon solidified into a steady working unit.
The group quickly morphed well beyond their improv-oriented acid jazz beginnings, and their do-it-yourself debut ("Liquid Soul")
was quickly picked up and distributed by Ark 21 Records.
The band was thrust further into the limelight after a much publicized gig at Dennis Rodman's birthday party. They relocated their perennial Sunday night show to the Double Door in Wicker Park and held it for almost four years (Feb. 1996 to Dec. 1999), rarely missing a Sunday even while playing nearly 200 gigs a year throughout the United States and Canada, plus performances in Germany, Turkey and Japan. Along the way, the band has gone on to both critical and national acclaim. They have opened for Sting, played at the Inaugural Parade and 21st Century Ball, and twice rocked the South By Southwest Music Festival, heralded by the Austin American-Statesman as "the single hottest showcase of the festival." And they recorded two more critically acclaimed CDs, "Make Some Noise" (Ark 21, 1998) and the Grammy-nominated "Here's the Deal" (Shanachie, 2000).
Live or in the studio, playing it hard or smooth, Liquid Soul is a fiery concoction of classy soloists, heavy rhythm merchants and hip-hop cognoscenti. They are in a group that thrives on contact with their audience. One cannot help being moved by Liquid Soul's ongoing party philosophy. The band's in-the-tradition repertoire extends from classic compositions by Ornette Coleman and Miles Davis to excursions on the latest breakbeats and mad samples. They continue to bridge the musical gap between standard jazz improvisation and urban rhythm. And as always, the band stays true to its roots with a continued philosophy of bringing jazz back to the dance floor.
Mars Williams - Saxophones
Mars Williams has studied with Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell, and has worked as an arranger and orchestrator. An open-minded musician who commutes easily between free jazz and rock, Mars has played and recorded with The Psychedelic Furs, Massacre (the Fred Frith/Bill Laswell group), Ministry, Billy Idol, Power Station, Die Warzau, The Waitresses, Pete Cosey, Billy Squier and virtually every leading figure of New York City's "downtown" scene. John Zorn credits Mars as "one of the true saxophone players--someone who takes pleasure in the sheer act of blowing the horn. This tremendous enthusiasm is an essential part of his sound, and it comes through each note every time he plays. Whatever the situation, Mars plays exciting music. In many ways he has succeeded in redefining what versatility means to the modern saxophone player." Despite his busy touring schedule with Liquid Soul, Mars manages to stay active on the Chicago underground improvising scene. In recent years he has toured and recorded with the Peter Brotzman Tentet, the Vandermark 5 and Cinghiale, teaming him with such musicians as Ken Vandermark, Hamid Drake and William Parker. And as a bandleader, he has continued to perform and record CDs with his own free-jazz groups such as the NRG Ensemble, Witches & Devils, Slam and, currently, X Mars X.