Wednesday 9 July 2014

Killer Opening Songs (Thing of Gold by Snarky Puppy)

Is it funk, is it fusion, is it electronica, is it avant-garde, is it Latin, is it mellow, is it trad, is it experimental? What is it?
It’s jazz.
Moreover, it’s Snarky Puppy’s jazz and it is “the shape of jazz to come”, to quote Ornette Coleman.
Sometimes Killer Opening Songs makes his musical discoveries on his doorstep, as in when he picks up long-awaited CDs shoved through his letterbox, ordered from evil, tax-avoiding Amazon. But occasionally, K.O.S. travels far to dig out new melodies. Far as in going all the way to Glynde Place, near Brighton, in southeastern England, to the Jazz FM-sponsored Love Supreme festival.
Forget the hellish journey back home (more than three and a half hours on the road late at night, including a diversion that added an extra hour to the already long drive), the memories of Snarky Puppy’s performance more than made up for any inconvenience suffered. This US band that sprang into the jazz scene in 2004, has been making a lot of noise in the right way ever since, and they have the rich, eclectic and mind-blowing musical output to back up the buzz they have generated.
The driving force behind Snarky Puppy is bassist and composer Michael League, yet, it would be wrong to leave out the other band members. Drummer Robert “Sput” Searight, who has collaborated with the likes of Snoop Dogg and London-based Bill Laurance, who has just released a well-received debut album, Flint, are just some of the stars to be found in this combo.
Killer Opening Song Thing of Gold appears on Snarky Puppy’s 2012 record groundUP, a combined CD and DVD offer. The track showcases everything that makes this band the future of jazz to come. Beautiful piano and saxo join forces together at the beginning of the song to weave a spellbinding tapestry of rhythm patterns. Strings kick in shortly after and add gravitas to what is already a mesmerising piece of music. The coup de grâce is provided by Texas-born keyboardist Shaun Martin who leads the whole ensemble to a hymn-like finale.
Music like this is a joy to listen to. Watching the members of Snarky Puppy perform live at Love Supreme was equally a pleasure to see. And at the centre of it all lies the key: the Killer Opening Song.
© 2014
Next Post: “Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music”, to be published on Sunday 13th July at 10am (GMT)


  1. They are really good, I think they through a little of everything in there

  2. dude...that is smooth...i like it much...its a good blend...lets leave it at that...smiles.

    have you heard the new Jack White III, that and the new Ed Sheeran are on my playlist right now...

  3. The music seemed a bit too busy for my taste, put together, I thought, like a playwright trying to ensure everyone on stage had at least a line or two to recite. Consequently, there were portions I liked and portions I did not care for ....

    That said, I did enjoy your review, CiL, and I am glad you had the opportunity to see/hear the group perform in person.

  4. And it is such a wonderful band name too...

  5. I'm more of a traditional jazz fan, the older sort... but I gave this a whirl and really quite enjoyed it.

  6. Me gustan mucho, tienen un buen ritmo y a la vez tranquilo.
    Gracias por compartir.

  7. Love that name 'Snarky Puppy'!

  8. I can´hear anything. Must be something wrong with my speakers. :(

  9. Even if you're not a big fan of jazz (and the jazz they play here in CT is more brass oriented than anything else) buy the c.d. just for the band name.

    That is the coolest band name ever.

    Father Nature's Corner

  10. Me encanto esta banda de Jazz, gracias por compartir.

  11. Neat.

    My roommate in college was a bass player and he would be applauding the pros that you gave to Michael League. He always argued that the bassists were often over-looked though they drove the tunes.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  12. 'Snarky Puppy' is such a unique name! :)

  13. Wow...this is amazing...I've never heard anything quite like this is composed of so many diverse styles - yet it works really well.
    Really enjoyed your review must have been amazing to be there in person. Wish I could have been too.

    Have a fabulous weekend :)

  14. Thanks for opening my ears to this! The band's name is not what I would ordinarily be drawn to but the sound is. Very nice.

  15. Great to have something to make the road glow by.


  16. They were great live. A really tight outfit. Great improvisers, too. One of the percussionists is Argentinian. I guess he'll be celebrating going to the final against the Teutons on Sunday.

    "Flint" is already in my to-buy list. Bill Laurance is one of the most originala nd creative pianists ever.

    Have a great weekend.

    Greetings from London.

  17. I love live concerts.
    Snark Puppy is awesome.

  18. Very Weather Report, I thought. (I'm not complaining - I like Weather Report!)

  19. Very lively and fun. I've never seen this side of jazz!

  20. They sound good; I can see why you love them. My hubbie is a jazz guitar player so I get to hear a lot of different types of jazz & have come to really love it. It's a deep well.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...