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Liquid Soul: Liquid Soul

Chicago’s Liquid Soul’s take on dance-jazz is about as subtle as a Tyson left hook, and at least as effective. Their self-titled disc (Soul What, SW 0000 61:13), recorded live at Chicago’s Elbo Room, is a prime example of the energy this septet can generate, integrating everything from Afro-Cuban percussion, to Brecker-ish brass ensemble precision (led by founder/saxist Mars Williams, a.k.a. the leader of the progressive NRG ensemble) to D.J. Jesse De La Pena’s and Dirty MF’s hip-hop touches (“Afro Loop”). The approach is similar to that used by cocksure horn-driven outfits (Groove Collective comes to mind). But for all the sweat and sass, it’s the group’s reinterpretations of “Freddie the Freeloader” and “Equinox” that really stand out.

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