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Revisiting the musical landscape of Snarky Puppy?s Sylva / The Stute

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With the release of the excellent "Family Dinner Volume 2" and a recent Grammy win for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, it's a good time to revisit Snarky Puppy's landmark 2015 release,Sylva. There aren't enough words to describe an album like this. It's the result of a flurry of musicians, all from different backgrounds, coming together to play a few arranged improvisations, recorded live for an energetic and otherworldly 54 minutes of music - uniting a diverse litany of connections through their melodies.

Working with the Metropole Orchestra, the album features large-scale, orchestral productions grounded in a world-jazz foundation. With the range of soloists present, from keyboardist Cory Henry to Mike Maher on trumpet, it's difficult for a composer to facilitate exactly when and how they will enter their moment in the spotlight as each solo must weave perfectly in and out of the arrangement. This makes Sylva truly a testament to how talented and hardworking these musicians are because it contains the synergy of a ten-piece jazz ensemble within a hundred-piece arrangement. After listening to the album, it will be interesting to see them perform this live, as the arrangement leaves enough room for improvisation so that each performance will be a unique one.