This week, let's take a look at some clips featuring Snarky Puppy, the Texas-born, Brooklyn-based funk/jazz/world music band who are coming back to St. Louis to perform this coming Thursday, May 9 at The Demo.
Three-time winners of Best Jazz Act" in the the Dallas Observer's Music Awards, Snarky Puppy is a loosely structured collective led by bassist Michael League and made up primarily of musicians who studied in the jazz program at the University of North Texas in Denton.
They've played St. Louis several times now, most recently back in August 2012 at The Gramophone, and to date have released five CDs of original music plus a CD/DVD set called GroundUP that came out in 2012. For their next release, in February they did a live recording with singer Lalah Hathaway and other guest stars that's also set to come out as CD/DVD set.
With an ensemble that can range in numbers from a touring band of seven or eight on up to a studio contingent of 20, Snarky Puppy offers what's essentially a contemporary take on funk and fusion, laid out in multi-part compositions, layered with percussion and occasionally veering off into odd-meter grooves that keep things from getting too predictable.
By way of examples, today's first two clips come from a gig in March of this year in Paris. The first track up above is Binky," and down below, it's Young Stuff," which features some impromptu pre-song dialog from League about the band's experiences on tour. We round out the program with four tracks from a show in April 2013 at Brooklyn Bowl in New York: Flood," Skate U," Thing of Gold" and What About Me?"
I love jazz because I am a singer and jazz inspires me.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was a baby. I grew up in a a musical family.
The best show I ever attended was Dianne Reeves with Romero Lubambo in Rio de janeiro, and Youn Sun Nah at the Vancouver
Jazz festival in 2010.
The first jazz record I bought was Sarah Vaughan.
My advice to new listeners is keep your ears and heart opened for good music.