Stories » Snarky Puppy: Culcha Vulcha gets 5 stars from - theguardian

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Snarky Puppy: Culcha Vulcha gets 5 stars from - theguardian

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As Snarky Puppy, the open-minded American jazz and funk collective, have evolved a riproaring live show from endless road life, they've specialised in live albums. However, their fans worldwide need not fear that a first studio project in eight years might be a self-conscious affair: it's a delightful surprise to be handing five stars to a jazz-influenced venture with little explicit improv. The group have grasped a different improvising opportunity, juggling audaciously with the styles of jazz, world and popular music of the past half-century as if their typical riffs and themes were phrases in a shapely but ever-changing solo. Classic big-band horn riffs and jazz-funk synth licks seamlessly mix; Hermeto Pascoalian flutes flow into squelching bass guitar; Weather Report atmospherics and 80s-Miles grooves seamlessly segue, and the coolly Crusaders-like, guitar-choppy GØ ought to be a single. Jazzers might still balk at the high-concept planning, but it's remarkable how much polish has been applied without cramping the band's irrepressible creative energy.

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