Liquid Soul

Make Some Noise

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The confidence in Mars Williams' tenor sax intro to "Threadin' the Needle" is all the sonic evidence needed to know that a sophomore slump isn't in the cards for Liquid Soul. The Chicago septet sounds really on top of everything on Make Some Noise, totally at home with the music and studio environment, something that isn't always a sure thing with a band bred on jamming it live. The old-school James Brown funk meets new-school mix culture equation remains the foundation, but Liquid Soul tosses in some fresh wrinkles here. "Yankee Girl" boasts a sweeping, up-tempo groove with the horns high-stepping between soaring organ and stabbing clavinet funk, while female vocalist Trine Rein takes the mike for the ballad "I Want You to Want Me." "Cabbage Roll" blends a funky wah-wah guitar groove with great horns and a sudden shift from rapping to Jamaican toasting, and the group brings out the latent funk and blues strains in Ornette Coleman's "Ramblin'." A touch of Latin in the groove and a bluesman stage rap sample drive "My Three S.O.B.'s," which gives guitarist Tommy Sanchez a little solo space before fading away mellow into the mid-tempo funk of "Lobster" and the live blowing finale, "Opium Jacuzzi." Choosing between Liquid Soul's first two CDs is pretty much a flip of the coin, but the assured delivery and wider range of material leaves Make Some Noise as the first choice.

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