When two different worlds amalgamate as one, the possibilities are endless. In the case of Dutch jazz/pop orchestra Metropole Orkest and New York jazz/rock collective Snarky Puppy, the two collectives aren’t the most extreme contrasts of one another, but are definitely two separate entities. When they combine forces, they make one truly enthralling album, Sylva.
With a rotating roster of some 40 musicians, Snarky Puppy has been producing genre-bending instrumental music since it was formed in 2004 by bassist Michael League in Denton, Texas. The first track of Snarky Puppy’s album offers a vibrant, orgiastic taste of just what the Brooklyn-based collective can do. Featuring everything from stark, Phillip Glass-flavored moving notes and unsetting strings to explosions of jazz-informed percussion, “Sintra” is a three and a half minute song that feels like the score to a film that has never been made, perfectly capturing that feeling of sitting in a darkened theater awaiting a rush of light and emotion captured on celluloid, of boundless potential.
The New York collective Snarky Puppy have made an album unlike any of their earlier ventures, with Holland’s genre-crossing Metropole Orkest. Sylva is a refined and cohesive orchestral suite rather than a collection of quirky groove vehicles, and also the band’s first work for a major label. Fans can relax, however: this isn’t a mainstream smoothing out out of an inimitably original band’s rough edges.
Brooklyn's Snarky Puppy jazz-funk collective have become one of modern music's bright lights. Sylva, their debut for Impulse, is their fifth live album and eighth overall. It is unlike anything else in their catalog thus far, yet it embodies all the things they do so well: R&B, fusion, NOLA second line, soul-jazz, and more. It is a concert collaboration with Utrecht's Metropole Orkest; a single work comprised of two suites.
Snarky Puppy — Sylva (Impulse!)Snarky Puppy has been steadily building over the last 10 years, mixing energetic jazz with funk, rock, and world music influences into something both accessible and distinctive. After winning a Grammy in 2014 for “Something,” it made sense that the group would partner with an orchestra — in this case Metropole Orkest — for something a little more classical. While Snarky Puppy can set a groove for a dance party, they’re also not out of place in an academic, sit-down concert.Bassist and central figure Michael League composed the resulting live album Sylva as a long suite with this collaboration in mind.