Sunday, April 6, 2014

Snarky Puppy We Like It Here Ropeadope 2014

Silly name...sick music. Stupid good.
 
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
A true collective committed to promoting not just great music but holding hundreds of workshops along the way. This revolving ensemble has one common denominator as it would seem the price of admission would be as a current or former student of North Texas State. Despite picking up a well deserved Grammy for Best R & B performance for 2014,  there are still those that may be somewhat unfamiliar with this burgeoning super group of sorts. Sounds like? No one else...thus the Grammy. A fair comparison might be the Chick Corea Electrik band meet Spyro Gyra. Funky jazz fusion with a global back beat.
 
R & B just isn't my thing, doesn't have to be. I will say that if that is your wheelhouse then Snarky Puppy can bang it out with the best of them. We Like It Here also contains some high octane fusion and a flash fried funk sound that few contemporary ensembles can touch. The amazing aspect to the band and this particular release is that while they essentially cut no new ground to speak of, they play contemporary instrumental music with a style and intensity not seen since perhaps Weather Report in their glory days.
 
Some reviews are pointless, the release does it for you. There are no weak links in this harmonic chain. The color palette is made for a wide audience and their lyrical vision can push a lyrical sense of purpose without pushing the listener over a cliff.
 
It's just that good.
Tunes:Shofukan; What About Me?; Sleeper; Jambone; Kite; Outlier; Tio Macaco; Lingus.
 
MICHAEL LEAGUE // ELECTRIC BASS & MOOG KEYBASS
BILL LAURANCE // ACOUSTIC PIANO, FENDER RHODES, & KEYBOARDS
JUSTIN STANTON // FENDER RHODES, KEYBOARD, & TRUMPET
CORY HENRY // HAMMOND B3 ORGAN & KEYBOARDS
SHAUN MARTIN // MOOG & KEYBOARDS
BOB LANZETTI // ELECTRIC GUITAR
MARK LETTIERI // ELECTRIC GUITAR
CHRIS MCQUEEN // ELECTRIC GUITAR
CHRIS BULLOCK // TENOR SAX, BASS CLARINET, & FLUTE
BOB REYNOLDS // TENOR SAX
MIKE "MAZ" MAHER // TRUMPET & FLUGELHORN
JAY JENNINGS // TRUMPET & FLUGELHORN
NATE WERTH // PERCUSSION
LARNELL LEWIS // DRUMS
YANNICK HIWAT // VIOLIN
TESSEL HERSBACH // VIOLIN
MARA TIELES // VIOLA
SUSANNE ROSMOLEN // CELLO
JULIO PIMENTAL // PERCUSSION (ON TRACKS 4 & 7 )
STEVEN BREZET // PERCUSSION (ON TRACKS 4 & 7 )