Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Snarky Puppy: Tell Your Friends - GroundUP

 Snarky Puppy: Cramming 20 pounds of material ... in a ten pound bag.
A singular unified experience. 
Hans Koert

Recently MIG Records released two great cd-dvd albums by Snarky Puppy: Tell Your Friends and GroundUP recorded by a group Snarky Puppy, that should be spotlighted.

  • Tell Your Friends is the fourth album by the US band Snarky Puppy, a collective ensemble around bass player and leader Michael League. It's its first live album, although Michael says, that he dislikes live-recordings .... I don't like how they sound. But a lot of fans asked for a live recording, but Michael didn't want to in fact - He said that the only place he would make a live recording was in a recording studio ..... and that's what happened.  Snarky Puppy was recorded at the Dockside studio in Maurice (Louisiana), November 2009, befor a live audience .... a group of eighty dedicated fans which were invited by Michael to be part of this unique live recording.
 (photo courtesy: MIG / Snarky Puppy)

The album Tell Your Friends was recorded without dubs or rehearsals in one take. It was not easy to get all members of the band at the studio in time, but it worked. It is great to learn that the studio "live" recording by Snarky Puppy was also recorded on video and this live registration has been added  on a DVD, which gives the project an extra demension.
Well, if you have doubts about this band, you should listen to the first track entitled  Whitecap - a rhythmical opener which invites to dance ...... It has a groovy rhythm and sounds great. Michael says at the recording documentary  that he wanted to make it sound as amazing as possible .... and, to be honest, it worked. The magic is in the live-take - no multi-tracking of over-dubbing but .... live: a singular unified experience.

 (photo courtesy: MIG / Snarky Puppy)

The band is, in fact, a collective of ca. 25 members in regular rotation, a group of musicians from two different cultures and traditions: jazz and rock kids from white America and gospel/R&B kids from black America. It is labeled as jafunkadansion music, what-ever-that-maybe.  The musicians played with great names like Marcus Miller, Erykah Badu, Snoop Dog, Roy Hargrove's RH Factor and Ari Hoenig, Kenny Garrett and even Yo-Yo Ma.

  (photo courtesy: MIG / Snarky Puppy)

The audio album has half a dozen tracks; the DVD has two extra bonus tracks: Anonymous, a tune written by guitarist Bob Lanzetti and The Little People.

Love to share with you a fragment form the DVD featuring the opening track: Whitecap

Snarky Puppy - more than just a collective playing funky jazz-rock. Michael League won his spurs as the leader of a band that brings the music to colleges, high schools and middle schools worldwide. I'm sure his band would be great at any (open air) jazz festival in Europe - a place where young people love to listen and dance at this great music - Thanks, Michael, for sharing it!

 Snarky Puppy - groundUp ( MIG 80162) ( CD+DVD)

Last year Snarky Puppy launched its fifth album, entitled groundUP and, again, a smash hit in my opinion. I'm very happy with both the audio as the video parts, as it creates an extra dimension to the project. This time Michael League and his band, built a studio in an empty warehouse at Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn, New York, December 2011.
Michael League
(photo courtesy:
Jens-Christian Schulze)

  • Its latest album is a live recording again, which learns that they must have been enthusiastic about its first live-studio experiences .... The album GroundUP has eight tracks all but two written by leader and aspirator Michael League. Two tunes were composed by members of the band. Again a great surprising sound and film project by an active group of musicians, who have a reputation, to quote its leader Michael League, for cramming 20 pounds of material .. in a ten pound bag.
Love to share with you one of the tracks from GroundUP entitled Quarter Master.

The two albums Tell Your Friends and GroundUP can be ordered at the bands website or the MIG-Music sites....................

Hans Koert
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The latest two albums by the US band, Snarky Puppy, formed around bass player Michael League, surpised me, to say the least: Tell Your Friends, recorded in 2009 in a studio for a live audience and the 2011 GroundUP, which was born in a warehouse, refurbished into a real studio. Both were released by MIG-Music at two CD-DVD packages. Its funky, well arranged groovy rhythms and the combination of audio and visual entertainment, made me anxious to share the music of this great collective band  ..... which has a reputation, to quote leader Michael League, cramming 20 pounds of material ..... in a ten pound bag.

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