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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Snarky Puppy @ Sage Gateshead. May 11

Michael League (electric bass), Bill Laurance (keyboards), Cory Henry (keyboards), Mike Maher (trumpet & flugelhorn), Evan Weiss (trumpet & flugelhorn), Chris Bullock (tenor saxophone),  Mark Lettieri (guitar), Robert ‘Sput’ Searight (drums) & Nate Werth (percussion)
(Review by Russell/Photo courtesy of Sage Gateshead.)
Hall Two was buzzing. Level one all standing, rammed, the seated upper tiers rammed. A word of mouth phenomenon, the sneakered Snarky Puppy strolled out to a rapturous Sage Gateshead reception. Bassist Michael League’s jazz funk twenty somethings are mid-way through a European tour and they’re having a ball. Greeted by ecstatic full houses every night, the University of North Texas boys are living the dream and someone had tipped them off that Tyneside was the party capital of the universe!
Touring their eighth album (We Like it Here), the iTunes’ chart-toppers ripped into a set of gargantuan jazz funk grooves. League’s bass lines the pivot, the killing Robert ‘Sput’ Searight (drums) the turbo-charged motor with percussion partner Nate Werth, brass and reeds dancing around their wah-wahs. Miles c.1970 used them, Snarky Puppy 2014 use them – the wah-wah pedal is back! Chris Bullock’s tenor sax, the trumpets and flugelhorns of Mike Maher and the new boy from Seattle, Evan Weiss, guitarist Mark Lettieri, all pressed the pedal to the floor. The brass boys knocked out extended trumpet solos at high volume, Weiss did the same on flugel (how he did it is a marvel) and when Maher wasn’t playing he was dancing. The set list featured the new album (What About Me? a highlight) and a few back catalogue numbers including Laurance’s reworking of Ready Wednesday. At intervals League took it down, the melody emerging (notably on the Latin-feel Tio Macaco) from the keys of Londoner Bill Laurance and the dancing Cory Henry. An encore was inevitable and those seated on the upper floors joined the dance floor crowd in a standing ovation.  
Committed to community outreach work at their Brooklyn NYC base, issuing CDs and DVDs at regular intervals and in their spare time touring the world (200 performances a year), Snarky Puppy’s post-gig meet and greet session at Sage Gateshead was a music industry exemplar. As the crowd left Hall Two there was the band sitting at a table ready to chat and sign a CD. Down to earth, polite American boys, Snarky Puppy know they’re living the dream.  
Russell.   

1 comment :

Unknown said...

The best gig I have ever been to. The best band I have ever seen. I'm loving the album 'We Like It Here'. A masterpiece.

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