Liquid Soul: Evolution

Liquid Soul is well known for its no-holds-barred jazz-funk jams, and the Chicago-based band’s fourth album, Evolution (Shanachie), is packed with irresistibly grooving tunes that will have you up and dancing from the first track.

The band kicks things off with the high-spirited jam “Action Jackson” and spices its funk with dance-floor rhythms, techno flavors and chanted vocals on “La La.” On “Nina’s in Jail,” rapper Nikki Lynette tells a gritty tale about a teenager who meets with catastrophe after leaving a party with a man who turns out to be a drug dealer; while the vibe of the song is upbeat, the high-energy horns reflect the intensity of the lyrics. DJ Eddie Mills contributes scratches to the infectious hip-hop tune “Soul,” on which rapper Gravity performs some tongue-twisting lyrics, and Liquid Soul’s funky yet atmospheric remake of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass 1962 classic “The Lonely Bull” concludes this ebullient, thoroughly-fun-to-listen-to album.