Pays : United States Label : CORE PORT Genres et styles : Jazz Fusion / Jazz-Funk Année : 2022

Snarky Puppy – Empire Central

· par Varun Swarup

Snarky Puppy needs no introduction, their name is all but synonymous with ‘jazz fusion’ in the 21st century. Perhaps better described as a collective than a band, the group has between 25 to 40 musicians in their roster and is known around the world for their epic arrangements and visceral performances. While members of Snarky Puppy diaspora hail from all corners, the group has its origins in the practice rooms of the University of North Texas, where bassist and frontman, Michael League .came to conceive the project. Their latest outing, Empire Central, sees them turning to their Texan roots for inspiration in delivering a solid set of originals. 

As one would expect with any Snarky Puppy record, the group retains their idiomatic blend of funk, jazz, r&b, and even prog for good measure. Though the band have always made it a point to write music that nourishes the mind and body, in Empire Central they offer more of a heady feast for the body. Recorded over the course of eight nights at a Dallas nightclub, the band leans more heavily on groove and rhythm with tight, economic arrangements that play to their strengths. 

Along for the ride this time along is New York native turned Texan Bernard Wright. An influential keyboardist in the 1980s, Wright delights in the funky number “Take It!” and is a strong presence. “Belmont” is another standout track that showcases the band’s strong melodic and part writing. As always, the sound engineers do stellar work in giving clarity to each element in the mix. While there is nothing particularly mind-blowing on display here, the band plays it safe with a solid release sure to please fans and newcomers alike. 

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