CD REVIEW: Soulive "Up Here"

Soulive's latest release marks a return to form for the trio, as this album is their most organic and original sounding since "Doin' Something." While they've had some underground hits and serious success between then and now, this album shows off what made Soulive a household name in the acid jazz world. The opening track, "Up Right," showcases the signature guitar/keys/drums sound that the band is known for with an exclamation point added by the guest horns section, musical cohorts Ryan Zoidis and Sam Kininger. Eric Krasno's guitar playing on this album is enough to rival guitar greats like John Mayer and B.B. King. There is much soul and blues throughout all that jazz, and vocals provided by guest Nigel Hall and Soulive's own Alan Evans sound like a throwback to the 60's and 70's era jazz and funk of James Brown and George Clinton. This is probably a huge statement, but this album proves that Soulive is the Jay-Z of acid jazz, and wouldn't that be a collaboration we'd all love to see happen.