Funking the Palace down to it's roots!
Keeping the funk going for round two at the Palace of Wonder Sunday night was Root Soul. This is a band made up of four guys who clearly have a love and passion for Soul and Funk. This band was similar to one I saw play at Asagiri Jam last year, the Tomoyasu Takeuchi Quartet. In fact two of the members are the same, Satoshi “Tiger” Okano on drums and Tomoyasu Takeuchi on guitar. Exclusive to Root Soul are Shinji Nakamura on keys and Mr. Root Soul himself, Kenichi Ikeda. So, while both bands focus on killer, funky jam sessions, this band has an amazing bassist in Ikeda, and the Takeuchi Quartet has a premier sax player with Motoharu (of Soil & Pimp Sessions fame). However, I digress, if you want to know about the other band, read my Asagiri Jam review here, for now we’re here to talk about Root Soul.
Root Soul is basically bassist, Kenichi Ikeda. Who has gone under the Root Soul moniker for some ten years or so now. He’s done work as a producer, an engineer, an MC and more. However, to see him jamming on his bass in the live setting, is where he looks most at home. Part of what makes a great live band for me is the passion and joy the band conveys when you see them play. Watching Root Soul jam the Palace at Fuji Rock, it looked like they couldn’t have been more content.
They set kicked off with a chunky ten minute jam session and things just kept building from there. Root Soul doesn’t have traditionally structured songs or lyrics in their tunes. They were made to session and lay done funky rhythms ten…twenty…thirty minutes at a time. What I appreciated about the set was that it was pretty balanced. All four members were given time to shine, to do a solo, then join right back into the groove with the others. Near the end of the set, the two guitars really started going off and battling against each other at a furious pace. This really got the crowd going, which at this point was jam packed into the Palace. Both guitarists really stood out as things drew to a close. Takeuchi is insanely skilled on guitar and laid down some blazingly funky solos, as Kenichi “Root Soul” Ikeda tried to keep up on the bass. The set was then left to Ikeda to lay down some of the best bass solos I’ve ever heard. The hour time slot seemed to breeze by and when it did I’m sure many were wondering why the Palace of Wonder never hosted two hour slots.
Photo by Yutaro Suzuki Text by James Mallion
Posted on 2015.7.29 11:46