When the thirst arises for true funk, one can feel as if trapped in a bar with only Coors Light on tap. Fortunately Chicago's Liquid Soul have brewed a fresh sound with their self-titled debut. The main asset of Liquid Soul is their affinity for live performance, which clearly translates to the album. Over half of the tracks were recorded at their one-year anniversary show at the Elbo Room in Chicago where Liquid Soul's free-form style shined. This becomes most apparent on the tracks "Java Junkie" and "Black Earth," where Ron Hayne's trumpet blasts and DJ Jesse De La Pena's scratching blend to form a fluid jazz overlay to the solid funk beat of bassist Ricky Slowalter. Detracting from the consistency of the album is the inclusion of an MC on two tracks -- an aberration among great instrumental tracks. Overall, Liquid Soul's debut is a refreshing experience that should add a tap or two on the bar of funk.
-- Robert Arriaga
Liquid Soul play Friday, May 9, at 10 p.m. at the Elbo Room, 647 Valencia. Tickets are $6; call 552-7788.