Having exploded from a small underground street-jazz sound in Chicago in the mid-1990s, the Liquid Soul universe continues to expand at a dizzying pace. Founded and led by innovative saxophonist/composer Mars Williams, the Grammy Nominated ensemble has developed a trademark mixture of jazz and urban dance music that incorporates everything from R&B, hard-bop, hip-hop, world music and more. Downbeat proclaims that Liquid Soul “sweeps the mold and mildew out of jazz-funk and breathes it back to glorious life.”
With a marathon touring schedule that has included everything from performing at the Presidential Inaugural Parade to headlining the first acid-jazz performance at the Newport Jazz Festival, Liquid Soul has evolved into an intuitively tight outfit that knows no stylistic limitations. The amalgamation of genres created by the eight-piece collective is a blend of pure musicianship, a fiercely passionate fire and the inherent fun of a pure dance groove. The result is a unique live music experience that draws a diverse legion of fans, spanning across multiple age and ethnic groups.
The story of Liquid Soul begins in 1993, when the band was at the forefront of a burgeoning acid-jazz movement in the Midwestern United States. Evolving from free-form hip-hop jams, the band coalesced spontaneously and soon found a home every Sunday night at Chicago’s Elbo Room. Word spread fast, attracting like-minded individuals from far and wide to the small stage. Thanks to these auspicious midnight marathons, Liquid Soul soon solidified into a steady working unit.
The group quickly morphed well beyond their improv-oriented acid jazz beginnings, and their eponymous, do-it-yourself debut album – originally released in 1996, on their own Soul What label – was quickly picked up and distributed by Ark 21 Records. The band was thrust further into the limelight after a highly publicized gig at Dennis Rodman’s birthday party. They relocated their regular Sunday night gig to the Double Door in Wicker Park and held it =for nearly four years (February 1996 to December 1999). In that time, they rarely missed a Sunday evening while playing nearly 200 gigs a year throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as Germany, Turkey, Russia, Mexico, Austria and Japan.
Friday June 14, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Cover Notes: Table Seating - $20 / General Admission - $15
Chicago, Liquid Soul, The Promontory