Gemini Soul

The Liquid Soul Tour
(Pearl Jazz Recording)

Gemini Soul takes jazz and injects it with a heavy, rhythmic dose of funk. Bass player André Marcel Ajamu Akinyele's four-string coils itself around the steady snare percussion with a springing and throbbing reminiscent of Me'shell Ndegéocello's low-end jams on softer songs like "Gypsy" and "Hang on to Your Love," while up-tempo songs like "Lili" and "Pandora's Boxx (Remix)" see the bass lines take on a Bootsy Collins-esque groove. There are hints of a classic R&B sound with a psychedelic edge, too, on "Supernova (Remix)." The atmospheric jam begins with a sample of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and slides smoothly into a low-key funk opus, punctuated by Jon O'Bergh's meandering piano melodies, which cascade through the tracks like London rain on a windowsill but always manage to come full circle. The album was recorded live, giving the songs an organic feel lacking in most studio releases and provides further proof that Gemini Soul is jazz with a pulse, as opposed to a bunch of musicians giving standard songs the ol' studio-clean sheen.
 
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