Andy’s Snarky Puppy Playlist

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10 songs, 1 hr 11 min, 6 min reading time.

I became aware of Snarky Puppy in 2015, following their album We Like It Here which was released in 2014 (label: GroundUp Music). The band was formed in 2004 by the bassist Michael League, and had released eight albums by 2014. They won a grammy in 2012 with the album Family Diner Vol1 (label: GroundUP Music).

But We Like It Here was the first album of theirs I listened to and remains a firm favourite of mine.

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Shofukan – the first track on the album ‘We Like It Here’ has an Arabic feel that evolves in to a meandering journey with some stellar solos throughout.

Kite – track five opens with Bill Laurance, their British piano player, this is an altogether different more laid back track that is almost classical at times. This is Bill’s influence and we hear it throughout their music.

Let’s take a look at the classically trained Bill Laurance and his solo work.

Ready Wednesday – from his first album Flint released in 2014 (label: Flint Music) the same year as Snarky’s We Like It Here. We have a lot of the Snarky musicals here, notably League on bass, but Laurance is clearly front and centre throughout.

Lingus – the last track on We Like it here has a strong bass groove layer down by Michael League, and a fantastic keyboard solo by Cory Henry half way through. At ten minutes long it is the longest track on the album.

Jambone – track four, features the amazing Mark Lettieri on guitar. Mark’s guitar playing is really funky.

Let’s take a look at Mark Lettieri and his solo work.

Deep: The Baritone Sessions shows his affinity for the dark and dirty baritone guitar, and brings all its conceivable rhythmic applications to the forefront on seven songs of aggressive groove. The fun thing is all the tracks are named after sea creatures, here is Daggertooth.

And from Spark and Echo (label: Ropeadope) the excellent Goonsquad.

He has also worked with Vulfpeck another band you need to listen to, the spin off band is called The Fearless Flyers, check this track Ace of Aces (label: Vulf Records).

Back to Snarky Puppy, the other stand out album for me is “Sylva” (label: Impulse!) a live album recorded with the Dutch Metropole Orchestra, recorded over two nights in Dordrecht, Holland.

Each composition on the album is named after a forest that left an impression on League, and this track Gretel, is reminiscent of an old Jurassic forest. You can almost visualise dinosaurs plodding along in places.

And to finish off, from Sylva The Clearing.

I hope that you have enjoyed these tracks and want to find out more about Snarky Puppy, a band that now boasts about 25 members and 14 albums to enjoy.

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