Soulive has never made any bones about what they do best; it's right there in their name. The trio of guitarist Eric Krasno, drummer Alan Evans and keyboardist Neal Evans has carried the torch for the soul-jazz organ trio-that venerable, funky institution pioneered by the likes of Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack McDuff and Groove Holmes in the late '60s. Saxophonist Karl Denson has done much the same, further evolving the tradition of funky horn legends such as Lou Donaldson, Stanley Turrentine and Cannonball Adderley with projects like the Tiny Universe and groundbreaking quintet the Greyboy Allstars. Rest assured, when Soulive and Denson get together they share within their collective conscious a wellspring of classic '60s soul jazz sides. However, for this latest effort, a 4-track EP entitled Spark, they jump ahead a decade, delving deep into the smoky vibe of '70s-era CTI Records by the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Grover Washington Jr. and George Benson. The grooves are dark and cosmic with space for the musicians to explore their deep jazz vocabularies as they revive material from the likes of Yusef Lateef, Freddie Hubbard and Art Farmer. So it is with Spark that Soulive and Karl Denson go head first into their jazz roots and emerge with their most exploratory recording yet, one that comfortably sits side by side with the classics they discovered before coming of age as soul jazz heroes for their own generation.