I got the bonus plan with this album. Soulive is mining the same territory that Medeski, Martin and Wood occupied five years ago, yet somehow Soulive makes it seem fresh. This is because Soulive keeps the rhythms loose and playful while MMW beats the groove into submission.
Guitarist Eric Krasno and brothers Neal (keyboards) and Alan (drums) Evans bring an infectious energy to this album of eleven original compositions. Unlike other modern organ driven trios, Soulive’s sound isn’t totally rooted in the soul-jazz sound of 1950’s era Jimmy Smith, but merely a reference point. They also draw upon such influences as JB’s-era James Brown (Brown’s legendary trombonist Fred Wesley leads a blistering horn section on the title track, "Cannonball", and "Roll The Tape"), New York hip-hop, the melodies of Stevie Wonder, and the early sound experiments of DJ Logic to create a sound that is simultaneously familiar and new. Songs like "Bridge to ‘Bama", and Hurry Up.... And Wait" are so infectious they’d make a dead man tap his feet. No slow burning pop tunes here. "doin’ something" is made to get bodies on the floor and booties shakin’!
And it’s still on sale at Tower as I type this.