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Rubber Soulive

Soulive

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Album Review

Recording predominantly instrumental soul-jazz Beatles' covers isn't a unique concept; both George Benson and Booker T. & the MG's attempted a similar concept to varying degrees of success in the early '70s. But Soulive strips the sound down to a three-piece organ combo and swings its way through 11 Beatles tunes, including rockers such as "Help" and "Day Tripper," jazzing them up without losing the hummable melodies that makes this timeless music still resonate. Despite the album's title that wittily takes the Soulive moniker and combines it with the Beatles iconic recording, there are only two tunes from Rubber Soul. Regardless, this is a frisky reimagining of Fab Four's gems that stays true to its source yet adapts the music to Soulive's distinctive soul-jazz groove. At first glance, the set list seems somewhat unlikely for interpretations in this style. Surely "Revolution" and "I Want You (She's so Heavy)" don't look like obvious candidates for a Memphis-styled R&B makeover. But Soulive uses its basic organ-guitar-drum setup with few overdubs to effortlessly soar through these tunes without a hint of pretension. Guitarist Eric Krasno handles most of the "vocal" parts, walking a fine line between rock and jazz, especially on the riff-heavy "Day Tripper," without slipping into either. Organist Neal Evans provides muscular yet nimble support, often taking the place of what were the background vocals of the originals. The solos are generally kept short, sharp, and tight, unlike other jazz covers that use a song's melody as a jumping-off place for lengthy improvisation that often strays too far from the tunefulness of the source material. Rather, the trio keeps the Beatles' songwriting abilities foremost in the presentation, although when they do wander off the page on short jams — as in "Taxman" — but it's never for long. Like the Liverpool lads who intuitively meshed together, Soulive's members interlock to yield results greater than the sum of its parts on this successful tribute that combines the Beatles sense of excitement, imagination. and musical exploration with a funky, down-home R&B/jazz groove.

Customer Reviews

Well Done Gents!

Once again Soulive delivers! This is a must for any music collection!!! Now I just need to go find it in vinyl;)

Perfect Marriage

Great marriage of some classic Beatles songs being done with the Soulive twist. Amazingly familiar, surprisingly fresh.

Soulive Meets The Beatles

another amazing accomplishment from one of thee most capable bands on the planet. great interpretations of these Beatles classics, done the way only Soulive can. smooth, melodic and fresh as all hell!

Biography

Formed: 1999 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Brothers Alan and Neal Evans, on drums and Hammond B-3 organ, respectively, form two-thirds of the soul/groove trio Soulive. Rounding out the group is Eric Krasno on guitar. The band was formed in the late '90s when all three members were under 25. However, each already had a substantial background in the jam band scene. Alan and Neal are former members of Moon Boot Lover,...
Full Bio
Rubber Soulive, Soulive
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