All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

241

The Soul Rebels: Rebelution

By

Sign in to view read count
New Orleans-bred Soul Rebels make gumbo music. In their Creole stew they brew hip-hop, funk, jazz, reggae, and second line brass band flavors. Rebelution is only the decade-old ensemble's fourth album, but it shows an incredible maturity and tightness that can only come from habitual live performance.

Soul Rebels was formed by former drum majors from the South's top marching bands—those of Texas Southern, Grambling, and Southern Universities. The working lineup consists of tuba, sax, trumpet, trombone, snare drum, and bass drum (culled from the second line tradition)—plus percussion, turntables, and occasional rhyme recitation.

The call and response of second line bands is prominent throughout—in the horns, in the vocals, in the overall feel of the record. Soul Rebels hope to excite their listeners into chanting, dancing, and stomping along. They write New Orleans-flavored party music—Mardi Gras on disc. At times Soul Rebels sound like a NOLA version of Latin genre-blenders Ozomatli; when the second line influence is in full force, the sound is something like the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, but with more street-savvy soul.

When Soul Rebels' hip-hop influence rises to the top is sadly when Rebelution suffers most—"Feels Like the Rebels is trite, dare I say whack. If Soul Rebels really wanted to push some buttons, and show an even deeper love for New Orleans, they would have invited Louisiana-based rap pioneers like Juvenile and the other Cash Money Millionaires to rhyme on their tracks. This may seem outlandish to some, but the Cash Money sound is deeply influence by the second line sound—listen closely. Instead, Soul Rebels offer watered-down raps; and their version of hip-hop music is a lot like other jazz players' attempts at tapping into rap... weak.

"They Don't Know is Soul Rebels' most exciting music, with its blaring horns, layered percussion and tuba marching groove. "Get Freaky, with its command to "get freaky, let me see that thong, is Soul Rebels' worst music; likewise with the erotic spoken word on "Spend Some Time.

Soul Rebels' willingness to explore black music in all its forms is where the band deserves its most praise. Whether it's New Jack Swing on "Groove Train or Jamaican dub for "Rebel Revolution, Soul Rebels show a profound knowledge of many types of music—and they aren't afraid to try everything, sometimes all at once.

Only occasionally do the horns solo in a jazz sense. The emphasis here is placed more on ensemble playing than solo improvisation, but when Winston Turner is given room to let his wailing trombone shine, it most certainly does. The beats from founding members Lumar LeBlanc (snare drum) and Derrick J. Moss (bass drums) are superb, providing a solid platform for Soul Rebels' raucous sound.

Even with its flaws, Rebelution is still a solid album from an under-documented group. Soul Rebels are making exciting, intelligent party music—something danceable but not dumbed down.

Track Listing: 1. Intro; 2. Let It Roll; 3. Feels like the Rebels; 4. Work It Out; 5. They Don't Know; 6. It's Our Time; 7. 'Nuthin but a Party; 8. Shake Something; 9. Get Freaky; 10. Spend Some Time; 11. Groove Train; 12. Funky Rebel 3; 13. We Rock the Party; 14. Hey There Baby; 15. Olympia Revolution; 16. Change My Life; 17. Disco Tech.

Personnel: Lumar LeBlanc (snare drum), Derrick J. Moss (bass drum), Damion Francois (tuba), Tannon Williams (trumpet), Winston Turner (trombone), Marcus Hubbard (trumpet), Will Terryu (tenor sax), DJ Ike Turna (turntables), Mike Woods (percussion), Thaddeus Clark (electric piano).

Title: Rebelution | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Barn Burner Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Unlock Your Mind

Unlock Your Mind

Rounder Records
2012

buy
Rebelution

Rebelution

Barn Burner Music
2005

buy
No More Parades

No More Parades

Tuff City Records
2005

buy
Let Your Mind Be Free

Let Your Mind Be Free

Mardi Gras Records
1995

buy

Related Articles

Read Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh CD/LP/Track Review
Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics CD/LP/Track Review
Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Invisible Atlas CD/LP/Track Review
Invisible Atlas
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Blue Dream CD/LP/Track Review
Blue Dream
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
Still Dreaming
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 24, 2018
Read A New Beginning CD/LP/Track Review
A New Beginning
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 23, 2018
Read "After the Fall" CD/LP/Track Review After the Fall
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 3, 2018
Read "Hand In Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Hand In Hand
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 7, 2017
Read "Dream a Little Dream" CD/LP/Track Review Dream a Little Dream
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 16, 2017
Read "Chimeric Stoned Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Chimeric Stoned Horn
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "Leon" CD/LP/Track Review Leon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 11, 2017
Read "Jeg roper til deg" CD/LP/Track Review Jeg roper til deg
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 7, 2017