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Snarky Puppy - Family Dinner Volume Two / theartsdesk review

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With everything they touch seemingly transforming into artistic gold, shapeshifting US collective Snarky Puppy are currently on a roll. Following their 2014 Grammy win for Family Dinner Volume One, they've since chalked up ‘Best Jazz Group' in the 2015 Downbeat Readers Poll, plus a Grammy nomination in the ‘Best Contemporary Instrumental Album' category for last year's Sylva. This purple patch looks set to continue with the arrival of Family Dinner Volume Two.

Serving up another appetizing smorgasbord of songs that range from the hyperventilated funk of "I Remember" (take a bow, LA duo Knower and reeds player Jeff Coffin) to the glorious sound of Malian icon Salif Keïta revisiting his breakthrough album with "Soro (Afriki)", Volume Two tweaks the format of its predecessor, incorporating not only guest vocalists, but guest instrumentalists as well. Album opener "I Asked" pairs NYC-based singer-songwriter Becca Stevens with Swedish folk pioneers Väsen to create a haunting sound-world in which nycklharpa, muted trumpets, parlor guitar, charango, frame drum and a heavy-duty Moog bass coalesce around the unaffected beauty of Stevens' vocal.  READ THE FULL artsdesk REVIEW