If the comic book album cover and liner notes don't make you feel young again, the music on One-Two Punch will.
Liquid Soul combines acid jazz with R&B, soul, funk, hip-hop and rock, hitting with both barrels. One hand gets you with traditional jazz ambience, while the other hand comes on strong with contemporary thrills. The band, formed in the mid-1990s, focuses on leader Mars Williams' gritty tenor. He's on fire throughout the session, pumping up the jam with megadoses of adrenaline. Sizzling trumpets turn up the heat, while guitar pushes the envelope. It's both exciting and tasteful. Even the rap lyrics have a place in this amalgam.
Baghdad Café opens One-Two Punch with an up-to-the-minute jazz/rock reflection on current events. Several tracks indicate party time through various manners of celebration. "Body and Mind combines R&B with sweet soul through the leader's suave tenor. "Stop pushes hard funk with a mesmerizing beat and rap lyrics that refuse to slow down. "Peanut Head represents the hip nature of the band's program through its meld of classic R&B with classic rock.
Liquid Soul presents Dizzy Gillespie's "Bebop as a brief interlude that lets his familiar melody flow freely, while "Nothing but Net experiments with free jazz and traditional swing. What a combination! The result, of course, becomes a new entity, crossing many musical genres while providing a unique voice. Credited to Mars Williams and Albert Ayler, "Liquid Angels gives the album its most outré moments.
Liquid Soul's One-Two Punch has something for everyone. This program is enjoyable, rewarding and suitable for ages six through 106.
Track Listing: Baghdad Caf
Personnel: Mars Williams: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, woodwinds, musette, keyboards, loops, electronics; Doug Corcoran, Hugh Ragin: trumpet; Andy Baker: trombone; Tommy Klein, Vernon Reid: guitar; Angus Thomas, Brian Sandstrom, Phil Ajjarapu: bass; Tony Taylor, Matt Walker, David Suycott: drums; John Hermann, Chris Cameron: keyboards; Mr. Greenweedz, Brian Quarles: vocals; David Arredondo: beat-box, vocals; Van Christie: programming; DJ Logic: turntables; Jim Dinou: electronics; DJ Scot: Paskon, DJ Eddie Mills, DJ Redlox: turntables, vox; Leddie Garcia: percussion; Teisha M. Jackson, Cosmos Ray: backing vocals; Steve Hunt: vibraphone; Iqbaal Singh: dhol tabla.