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Liquid Soul

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Chicago acid jazz outfit Liquid Soul originally comprised saxophonist/musical director Mars Williams, DJ Jesse de la Peña, guitarist Tommy Klein, bassist Ricky Showalter, trumpeter Ron Haynes, keyboardist Frankie Hill, and drummer Dan Leali; formed in 1993, the group quickly emerged as a Windy City club favorite thanks to their regular Sunday night gigs at the Elbo Room, and soon recorded a self-titled debut LP for their own Soul What label. A series of high-profile gigs including appearances at President Bill Clinton's inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., as well as basketball star Dennis Rodman's birthday party greatly boosted Liquid Soul's visibility, and in 1996 their album was reissued on the Ark 21 label; moving their regular Sunday gigs to Chicago's Double Door, the group -- now featuring Williams, Showalter, Haynes, Hill, and Leali in addition to new recruits including DJ Ajax, rapper the Dirty MF, guitarist Tommy Sanchez, trombonist John Janowiak, percussionist Newt Cole, and vocalist Simone (the daughter of the great Nina Simone) -- issued their sophomore record, Make Some Noise, in 1998. Here's the Deal followed two years later. Evolution appeared in 2002 on Shanachie Records and One-Two Punch in 2006 on Telarc Records. ~ Jason Ankeny

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