Three years after their last release, Snarky Puppy's thirteenth studio album Immigrance makes a statement as a standard for jazz fusion that all modern artists should take note of.
The opening track, "Chonks," sets the tone of the record with a fierce drum fill from Larnell Lewis which is reminiscent of reggae tones, an aesthetic which Snarky Puppy enjoy teasing on occasion. The record keeps pace as it weaves together the collection of songs which gives the illusion of one long track.
"Coven" opens with a smooth tenor saxophone transition which provides ample breathing room for Michael League's bass guitar melody to navigate the rest of the song, providing the listener with imagery of a lost ship trying to navigate a dark ocean.
"Xavi" is the next stand-out track on the record, with an amazing flute introduction complementing a funky groove provided by the drums. The moving drum beat acts as an invaluable transition for the guitars to enter and solo over, before breaking into a refrain which is catchy and sure to stay with you. The song flows into "While We're Young" which is an interesting spacey tune that would be at home on a Grateful Dead second set "Space and Drums" section.
"While We're Young" acts as a nice preface to the track "Bad Kids to the Back" where the drums steal the limelight again. The complex rhythms are sure to satisfy the need for interesting time signatures. It is very easy to get caught up in the drum patterns and forget about the tenor saxophone and guitar work over the top that melds beautifully with the rhythm, for a complementary movement.
The final track on the record, "Even Us," opens with an interesting flamenco-styled guitar introduction that flows into a piano-driven melody which will break hearts. It is a melancholy song which aids in closing the record and bidding the listener farewell.
Immigrance is a solid effort by Snarky Puppy, their most memorable release since 2014's We Like It Here. The album stands out for modern jazz fusion as a solid effort. There is no doubt that the album will remain a staple in Snarky Puppy's ever expanding discography.
Chonks; Bigly Strictness; Coven; Bling Bling; Xavi; While We're Young; Bad Kids to the Back; Even Us.
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