STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: A Snarky Puppy Sampler


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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?"

For more about Snarky Puppy, check out this audio interview with Michael League, recorded last month before the band's appearance at a music festival in Oregon; this interview that League did with; and this review of a recent show in London.

This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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