Snarky Puppy plays Variety Playhouse Feb. 14-15Thursday February 8, 2018 12:00 am EST
It’s tempting to label Snarky Puppy simply a jazz band and leave it at that. However, that classification would obscure not only the particularities of the group’s sound but an understanding of why the Denton, Texas-bred and New York-based supergroup continues to sell out shows around the world. “Tarova,” the opening track from the band’s 2016 album Culcha Vulcha, is a perfect case study. The song starts out simply enough with bombastic percussion and bluesy organ improvisations. Yet over the course of three minutes, a torrent of horns, guitars, and drums build to a climax that stretches far outside the boundaries of jazz. Instead, Snarky Puppy swallows up bits of rock, pop, and fusion, and spits out a genre-defying concoction that has earned the group a ravenous fanbase in the jazz world and beyond.