Snarky Puppy – Empire Central (2022) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Snarky Puppy - Empire Central (2022) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz] Download

Snarky Puppy – Empire Central (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:34:40 minutes | 1,91 GB | Genre: Jazz Fusion, Jazz Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © GroundUp Music LLC

It seems inevitable that the popularity of jam bands would eventually give rise to the jam big band, and first on that scene was the cross-cultural and endlessly innovative Snarky Puppy. Springing from the renowned music program at North Texas State in Denton, Texas, in 2004, and led since the beginning by bassist Michael League, the band is now more a collective with over 40 members who have passed through in the past 18 years, during which they’ve released 15 albums and steadily built a sizable audience for their composed and improvised blend of jazz fusion, full-on rock, and funky extended jams. This is Snarky Puppy’s third live album in a row, which makes sense given that the perky smooth jazz of this 20-piece collective dedicated to finding the necessary groove undoubtedly blossoms in front of an audience. Their superpower, however, is sharp, compelling arranging, and finding a place and the right blend for all its nearly two dozen instrumentalists. Another star in this show is the attention to appealing textures that are built thanks to an array of new and vintage keyboards including a Mellotron, Wurlitzer ARP String Ensemble, Minimoog Model D, Fender Rhodes, and Hohner D6 Clavinet. The big brassy “Pineapple,” where Snarky Puppy’s three drummers and three percussionists raise a mighty din, is typical of the group’s jumpier, groove side. “RL’s,” named for Dallas nightclub RL Griffin’s Blues Palace 2, winds up as a massive guitar shredfest only tangentially related to the blues. In “Belmont,” violinist Zach Brock solos throughout. The sound is huge in all ways, at times crossing over into loud and in-your-face space where wider dynamics might have made for a more enjoyable listen. Strangely, while the entire record was recorded live at the Deep Ellum Art Company in Dallas in March, 2022, and mixed in Els Prats de Rei, Spain (where League resides), the tightest and less flamboyant groove “Mean Green,” (think Average White Band) named for the North Texas mascot, does not feature the applause present elsewhere. Another applause-less tune, “Free Fall,” is a trip back to the synthy 1980s of Al Jarreau and Spyro Gyra. Jam on! – Robert Baird


1-01. Snarky Puppy – Keep It On Your Mind (05:30)
1-02. Snarky Puppy – East Bay (05:11)
1-03. Snarky Puppy – Bet (05:33)
1-04. Snarky Puppy – Cliroy (04:45)
1-05. Snarky Puppy – Take It! (feat. Bernard Wright) (06:39)
1-06. Snarky Puppy – Portal (05:12)
1-07. Snarky Puppy – Broken Arrow (07:19)
1-08. Snarky Puppy – RL’s (09:22)
1-09. Snarky Puppy – Mean Green (04:54)
1-10. Snarky Puppy – Fuel City (04:52)
1-11. Snarky Puppy – Free Fall (03:50)
1-12. Snarky Puppy – Belmont (06:29)
1-13. Snarky Puppy – Pineapple (04:56)
1-14. Snarky Puppy – Honiara (06:50)
1-15. Snarky Puppy – Coney Bear (05:16)
1-16. Snarky Puppy – Trinity (07:54)


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