Stories » Snarky Puppy - Culcha Vulcha makes Rhapsody - 5 New Jazz Releases You Need To Hear

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Snarky Puppy - Culcha Vulcha makes Rhapsody - 5 New Jazz Releases You Need To Hear

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Warning! Rhapsody's 5 New Jazz Releases You Need To Hear have little or nothing in common. No thread running through them, no concept linking them, just talent, feeling and a bit of complexity thrown in to keep you on your toes. So goes the world of the Jazzbeaux, whose aim is to eliminate the snob of jazz-snobbery. There's no previous experience or expertise required because this is a place where beginners and experts peacefully co-exist - just bring your ears and an open mind.

The ever prolific Snarky Puppy are headquartered in Brooklyn, fronted by bassist Michael League. While they cram themselves under the extended umbrella of jazz, funk, world, soul and pop, SP are actually deliriously unclassifiable. You may hear traces of Medeski, Martin & Wood, Charlie Hunter or Brian Auger's Oblivion Express. They are a large ensemble - check that, a gigantic ensemble - who are at times organ-fueled and horn-blasted funky. On Culcha Vulcha they claim to be moodier and restrained, though I'm happy to report, not too restrained.

League, as well as other players in the band, came from the well-respected University of North Texas jazz music program in Denton, Texas. No strangers to the studio (this is their 11th recording), these nine songs were recorded five minutes walking distance from the Mexican border, plopped in the middle of a studio amid a pecan orchard. Since there was no overdubbing, what you hear is what you get, out-and-out playing.