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Snarky Puppy 

When: Tue., March 11 2014
Price: $18

Supposedly, word got to jazz giant Miles Davis that John Coltrane’s increasingly lengthy, shamanic sax solos were getting out of hand. Coltrane claimed that once he started playing he just couldn’t stop. “Of course he can,” Davis retorted, “He can just take the fucking horn out of his mouth.” Such self-indulgence does not plague Brooklyn-by-way-of-Texas, jazz-world-funk collective Snarky Puppy. The combo sprawls to 21 players, with each instrument integral to the band’s pulsing, surging ecosystem. This keeps the solo showboating in check. The collision of white jazzers with a black gospel crew has changed Snarky’s sound in ways group leader/bassist Michael League never imagined, yielding the combo’s current love for the rampaging groove. A decade of gigging perfected the Puppy’s merging of the intuitive, stratospheric soloing of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, rolling gospel organ, ricocheting garage rock and stabbing Tower of Power horns, all nestled sweetly in the fatback Funkadelic pocket. Groups this otherworldly rarely net music industry notice, so Snarky’s recent Grammy is a particularly wondrous “WTF?” win. (Pat Moran)


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