The 2014 Grammy Award winning Snarky Puppy’s “We Like It Here” is an invitation to snoop around this crew’s musical world and find out what makes it so darn appealing. Every track is like an Everlasting Gobstopper, the jawbreaker candy that begins as one tasty flavor and ends as another. The album’s 8 tracks average at over 6 minutes apiece, forming movements, seamlessly segueing from one genre to another within one song. Shofukan transforms from fusion to contemporary Cuban before finishing as a horn led, funk frenzy that demands applause. It is a live performance so, of course there will be gimmicks to keep the crowd engaged but they do so effortlessly, dropping personal influences into tracks making the unfamiliar more comfortable. Jambone, the lone afrobeat track and my personal favorite, doesn’t finish before the guitarist throws some Jimi in his solo.
If familiarity breeds contempt, Snarky Puppy keeps you content by not revisiting the formula of 2013’s “Family Dinner”. There are no featured vocalists on “We Like it Here”, and they’re continuing to explore musical territory and try new things. From start to finish the performance is dynamic, allowing no room for monotony. I’m enjoying their creative, musical space and I’m sure you will too.