Acid jazz grooves served up tonight at Soular Cafe II

by Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

Direct from a mid-'80s explosion in the always trend-setting England, acid jazz returns to Houston in the form of the Soular Cafe II, which hits Rockefeller's tonight at 8 p.m.

The first Soular Cafe took place in November 1995, thanks largely to the efforts of Andre "DJ Sun" Sam-Sin, who hosts Soular Grooves, an acid jazz radio show on KPFT 90.1 FM.

"Our main objective is to create a scene in Houston for acid jazz, for live musicianship," said Sam-Sin, who will be spinning cuts at tonight's Soular Cafe II. "My main purpose in putting together this set is to get people on the dance floor."

For those who still aren't aware, acid jazz is a progressive form of music incorporating the "traditional" sounds of the genre with Latin, hip hop, soul and funk. Laying down the smooth grooves makes for a very danceable beat.

According to Sam-Sin, the term "acid jazz" originated as an inside joke between two DJs in London who were spinning at a club. When one suddenly changed the music to jazz, added a dance beat and noticed the kids still dancing, he turned to his friend and said, "Hey, acid jazz!"

Sam-Sin has been a longtime supporter of the acid jazz movement, including running the Soulstice club, an acid jazz and live venue which closed on New Year's Eve `94. From there came Groove Theory at The Magic Bus, which created Rockefeller's interest in undertaking this same type of event.

"We create what cities like London, San Francisco and New York already have," Sam-Sin said.

Indeed, the acid jazz movement is much more prominent in those cities, but Sam-Sin feels that events like these may put Houston on the map, thus drawing major acts like The Brand New Heavies, Massive Attack and Incognito to the Space City.

Soular Cafe II promises entertainment and information as well. Included in the evening's events are: a listening party sponsored by Hollywood Records, featuring recordings formerly available only on import; Roots Collective, an urban poetry troupe from Third Ward; Sun-Sol, a percussion and vibes project featuring UH students; and of course, DJ spins by Sam-Sin and others like DJ Baby Roo.

Join in the festivities at 8 p.m. tonight at Rockefeller's, 3620 Washington. Tickets are $9, $14 for minors. Call 869-8427 for more information.

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