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Soulio by Soulio

According to the press kit, this Chicago area jazz-soul-funk ensemble generally delivers the knockout blow during its live performances. On that note, they let the good times roll via this upbeat and thoroughly grooving studio session featuring the collective’s take on familiar modern jazz comps. It’s a meat, potatoes and directly in your face type program. No fluff or wasted space on this platter, that’s for sure.

Front-man and trombonist John Janowiak (Johnny Showtime) steers a band that proclaims a good degree of élan and gusto. On tenor saxophonist Matt Shevitz’s composition "Large Marge," they swing hard amid blustery soloing atop Greg Nergaard’s beefy e-bass riffs. And on saxophonist Eddie Harris’ "Cold Duck Time," they generate some super-funk grooves, led by Janowiak’s zinging lines and Shevitz’s gritty and rowdy sax phrasings.

The ensemble doesn’t overstate or wander off-track. They largely spawn literal readings of these familiar compositions, but add a hip and somewhat rebel-rousing vibe to the overall session. For example, they execute an up-tempo spin, accentuated by buoyant horns choruses via a medium-tempo, sliding swing motif on Bobby Timmons’ "Dat Dere." So, it’s more about the musicians’ acute ability to morph a good-timey feel with expertly conveyed artisanship. No frills or gimmicks here. It’s jazz music that comes at you from disparate angles, where the band communicates a distinct sense of good cheer throughout.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Soulio
  • CD Title: Soulio
  • Genre: Soul / Funk Jazz
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: Independent
  • Rating: Three Stars
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