Snarky Puppy’s Eclectic & Electric Mix @ The PhoenixWednesday, October 19th, 2016
Photographer and Canadian Musician contributor Neal Burstyn (imageswithimpact.ca) hit The Phoenix on Oct. 13th to see Snarky Puppy, presented by the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. Check out a huge library of shots from the show below, along with a few of Neal’s thoughts. Also grab your copy of our Nov./Dec. 2016 issue, as our annual Percussion Special features Snarky Puppy drummer and Toronto native Larnell Lewis.
Having an audience sing along to your songs when they don’t actually have any words is no small feat, and one that Brooklyn-based jazz/funk/rock/pop hybrid Snarky Puppy shares with an elite group of instrumental artists.
The band returned to Toronto – one of many “second homes” for the beloved group – to perform to a sold-out crowd at The Phoenix, and it was an elevating experience for the band and audience alike.
Snarky Puppy are an act like no other, weaving effortlessly from synth-based riffs to punchy horn melodies to chases of world music all while staying anchored in the realm of pop and widespread accessibility.
The rhythm section is always on its A-game – and has to be to support so many talented lead players. Watching drummer Larnell Lewis and bassist and bandleader Michael League speak their unspoken language on stage was a real treat.
But despite the outsatnding musicianship – and there was plenty on display here – it’s the energy that they share with the crowd that really makes a Snarky Puppy show greater than the sum of its parts, and that was certainly the case here.
What a treat. Thanks to the Toronto Jazz Festival for having us and bringing this one-of-a-kind, world-class act back to the Big Smoke.