Liquid Soul train rides the rails to Vail |

Liquid Soul train rides the rails to Vail

Wren Wertin
Liquid Soul is the product of underground street jazz in Chicago. They play 8150 tonight.

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 10-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.

In 1994, saxophonist Mars Williams and Liquid Soul were at the forefront of a surging acid-jazz movement in the greater Midwest. 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 to the small stage from far and wide. 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. The band was thrust further into the limelight after a much publicized gig at Dennis Rodman’s birthday party. They have opened for Sting, played at the Inaugural Parade and 21st Century Ball, and twice rocked the South By Southwest Music Festival. They’ve recorded three critically acclaimed CDs, “Liquid Soul,” “Make Some Noise,” and the Grammy-nominated “Here’s the Deal.”

After playing for almost nine years, the group has made some line-up changes. The result is a red-hot group, invigorated and kicking. Instead of snubbing particular genres of music, bandleader Williams just likes to let it flow. He wants it to be fresh, always. As for himself, his influences range from hip hop to jazz to rock.

Liquid Soul performs tonight at 8150. Doors open at 8. Call 479-0607 for more information.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.

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