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Editorial Reviews

March 2009 marks Soulive's 10th Anniversary, ten years since Eric Krasno, Alan Evans and his brother Neal Evans got together for the first time at a home studio just outside of Woodstock, NY and recorded Get Down.
Over the past 10 years, Soulive has covered a lot of ground musically and literally.
The band has traveled to nearly every corner of the world, touring Ghana, Russia, nearly all of Europe, Brazil, and Japan (nine times!). They' ve been across America on dozens of tours. New Orleans Jazz Fest has become a home away from home. And in their actual home, New York City, they are closing in on their 100th show.
Not many bands can say they've recorded with Chaka Khan, Dave Matthews, Talib Kweli and John Scofield. Nor can many bands open for The Rolling Stones on one tour and have Stevie Wonder sit in with them on the next tour. Jazz, hip-hop, rock, soul, funk, R & B, blues-- musically, there is not much the band hasn't done.
In developing their own history, Soulive has been in the company of legends both new and old. In 2000, Bruce Lundvall signed the band to Blue Note Records and Soulive became part of recorded music's greatest jazz legacy. Six years later, Soulive would be the first band signed to the new incarnation of Stax Records, joining the incredible soul tradition built by Isaac Hayes, Sam and Dave, and Otis Redding.
Soulive has always been creatively restless, never content to ride a sound (or a look) for too long. Consistent through all of the different line-ups, though, was the groove Neal's club-shaking left hand pounding out bass lines, Alan's ride cymbal propelling the music forward, and Eric's solos soaring on top.
Now unencumbered by a record contract and fully equipped with a state-of-the-art recording studio, Soulive is embracing the new music business model by launching their own record label, Royal Family Records. With a focus on digital distribution, the label will be an outlet for all Soulive recordings as well as numerous Soulive affiliated projects.
Soulive will launch their label with the release of their new studio effort Up Here. The LP was recorded in Alan's new studio in Hatfield, Mass in the fall of 2008. This is the Soulive album I've always wanted to record, it's what I've been hearing in my head for years, says Alan, who also tracked and mixed the record. It's like when people say if I could go back in time knowing what I know now. Well, that's what we did with Up Here. The session had the vibe and energy of Get Down but with all of our experiences from the past 10 years put down on tape in a very meaningful way.
The record's opening track Upright immediately sets the tone with a completely infectious hook featuring Neal on an old upright piano. There are some nods to the old-school on the record. For Granted is a tip of the hat to Grant Green, and Eric plays licks reminiscent of his early solos on Get Down and Turn It Out. Guest vocalist Nigel Hall tears it up on Too Much while Eric's guitar sings like D'Angelo on the laid-back grind of Put on Yo Pajamas. The entire record features tight horn arrangements from long-time Soulive collaborators and friends, Sam Kininger and Ryan Zoidis.
No matter how you listen to Up Here, it sounds like you're listening to vintage vinyl. One of the most difficult things about making a record with a great live band is capturing all that live energy while still making the record that's about songs. Up Here does as good a job as any record could in accomplishing this. Straight up, says Alan, this is the first Soulive album that I can say every tune on it is my favorite on the album.

Disc: 1
1. Up Right
2. The Swamp
3. Too Much
4. Backwards Jack
5. PJ's
6. Tonight
7. Hat Trick
8. For Granted
9. Prototype
Disc: 2
1. Steppin
2. Dig
3. Bubble
4. Vapor
5. Cannonball
6. Tuesday Night Squad

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 7, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: TVT Records
  • ASIN: B0029ZUQ94
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,566 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
64%
4 star
27%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
9%
See all 11 customer reviews
Very much recommended to all Soulive fans.
Andre S. Grindle
It has a great mix, the Shady Horns really add, Neal plays some really cool piano, but the organ solo just smacks everything out of bounds.
Joe MacPhail
Nasty is the only word I can come up to describe this CD.
rec552

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Rodriguez on April 21, 2009
Format: MP3 Music
The Quick & Dirty:

Soulive returns with a gritty, soulful, funky musical statement that's sure to please.

The Lowdown:

After the experimentation that was "No Place Like Soul", the legendary jazz/soul outfit Soulive strips down to the basics to produce a musical statement that's as familiar as an old 12" and at the same time fresh as the sunrise.

First of all, the mixes on "Up Here" are extraordinary, taking the lo-fi feel of earlier work ("Get Down") and adding the slightest gloss to it to keep things interesting. The panning of similar elements vary from track to track, so things feel less predictable and more like each track is its own little universe. The vocal mixes are excellent, too, with Nigel Hall's work feeling like it is work that was recorded contemporaneously with Sam Cooke and James Brown. As a result, "Up Here" crackles with urgent intensity and unbridled creative energy.

The composition and instrumentation is exactly what we would expect from such a technically sound outfit: sharp, expressive, subtle and intelligent. No one overplays, and even the solos (as outstanding as they are) are kept to a minimum bar count to let the rest of the music breathe and groove. The core ingredients of Soulive (Alan on drums; Neal on bass keys and organ, clavinet and upright piano; Kraz on guitars) do what they do best: interplay, support and compliment. The extraneous elements (the Shady Horns and the afoementioned Hall on vocals) add that little extra garnish to put the project over the top. Just a really pleasing listen all around.

A few outstanding tracks are the hip-hop soul of "The Swamp", the 60's groove of "Too Much", and the slinky flow of "PJs".

That is not to say, though, that "Up Here" is perfect.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By FenderBender on September 8, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is a great package. The CD is loaded with new Soulive grooves and a mix that takes me back a few years, before overproduction became the norm for a large part of the recording industry. This CD has got some definitive groove moments here. Nigel's voice on the vocal tracks is superb. The mix is good and the horns add a great dimension. But the real jewel here is the DVD. This DVD is a cooker. The film work and the sound quality are spot on. I own a lot of music DVD's and this ranks near the top of my list. The band is TIGHT and when the horns kick in, WATCH OUT!! Everybody does great work on this DVD. But the standout in my opinion is Neal Evans. He does double duty -- bass keyboard and Hammond B-3. His bass lines are off the chart and so funky, I can't stand still. True, I'd prefer he play a true B-3 pedal board but whatever, you can't have it all. This package is a must buy for any Soulive, jazz-funk, etc. music lovers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Henry King on October 20, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm diggin this album. Soulive has taken a slightly different direction with a sound that resembles vintage soul/funk recordings. It kind of sounds like they didn't completely master the mix and recorded it with a single mic in a room of gods of groove. Awesome tracks include "Up Right" "Too Much" and "Tonight".
Horns and singer on several tracks sound so tight. They're back on tour for the fall and I got their opening show at The Note in West Chester. Back to the trio format, blowing away the audience as usual. Pretty Good SHIZZ
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Russo on April 16, 2009
Format: MP3 Music
Soulive is definitely back with this album. Could be considered one of the best by them. I'm really digging the album art too, very creative compared to their previous ones. This could be a new beginning for this band.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Gore on February 9, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Yo! That cd is the BOMB! The sound that they put out is 1-of-a-kind! It is unique and to me, it is quintessential SOULIVE! SOULIVE IS NEW YORK CITY TO THE BONE! Keep on puttin it out like THAT! The only "beef" I had, was not about the cd, but the fact they didnt send me a cd cover. But for $5, I couldnt beat it with a bat. PLUS THE CD WAS LIKE BRAND NEW! MUCH PROPS TO AMAZON.COM
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rec552 on October 2, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Nasty is the only word I can come up to describe this CD. This is classic FUNK plain and simple. Tight and beautifully arranged, I could go on and on but five stars says it all.
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