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Snarky Puppy - Culcha Vulcha / NYSMusic review

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Eight years ago, there weren't many people who knew Snarky Puppy. Heck, the pups were in their infant stages only forming four years prior. That was the last time the band hit the studio though in the traditional sense. Fast forward to today and the band is leading a very real revival of jazz music, gathering fans along the way with recent albums performed and recorded live. After the band's first Grammy win in 2014 with Lalah Hathaway for Best R&B Performance from Family Dinner – Volume 1, the group followed it up in 2015 with a Grammy for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album with Sylva, collaborating with the Dutch Metropole Orchestra. Both wins showcased the group's formula of recording an album live with an audience, limiting retakes and capturing raw emotion.

That was then, this (only one year later) is now. The band has decided to throw their recent formula for success out the window and head into the studio for something one can only expect to be a tightly controlled exploration of freedom and expression. The verdict is in and the new album doesn't disappoint. On April 29, 2016, Snarky Puppy will release Culcha Vulcha, their eleventh album and first traditional studio album in eight years. Recorded at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas, the band set their eyes within their home state, just 600 or so miles from where they formed at the University of North Texas in Denton.