New York City's Soul Coughing offer the kind of groove-oriented expertise that can only come from years of playing and research. With resumes that read like syllabi for independent studies in avant jazz, these Knitting Factory-educated, experimental scenesters offer a fusion of jazz, Funk, hip-hop and electronica. The rhythm section shines brightest with well-produced, well-tuned tones of loose, snappy drums and stand-up bass. Vocalist M. Doughty sets lazy, poetic verse to the beats, barely getting words out before the entrancing rhythms and low-end have nodded by. Arrangements are crafty enough to hold the shortest attention spans, while melodies vary between jazzy walks and brooding introspection. This is smart music that's not afraid to party once in a while.