On Saturday, March 1st, 2014, Snarky Puppy performed in Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival A2 hall JIExpo Kemayoran, Indonesia. The audience was dressed in casual attire. I was a casual and referential listener at the concert. As I had previously stated, I was a casual listener because I didn’t recognize the song or singer, but I did pay attention to the item (Webster, Emma, and George) From the outset of the event, it was clear that all of the musicians and the director were excited to begin their performances. the pieces they performed that day were Bring Us the Bright, like it Here, Celebrity (Bring Us the Bright), Tell Your Friends, and Young Stuff (groundUP).
The band leader and basssist was Michael League, Tenor saxophonist Chris Bullock, Evan Weiss good at trumpet, Justin Stanton good in two areas keys and trumpet, Keyboards and synthesizers by Cory Henry, Guitarist Mark Lettieri, Nate percussion by Werth, and Robert Searight, the drummer, they were all in good posture on the stage to start their performance. League runs a tight ship, and the band’s hip fusion has a distinct preference for the grand dramatic.
“Strawman (Bring Us the Bright)” was Snarky Puppy’s first song to be played. One of the most exciting features of this song for me was almost the entire part of the song, including the guitars, brass, and particularly the percussion. Each component built on the one before it, giving the sense that the song was “looped.” Near the end of the song, there was also a crescendo, as each layer raised the tension and giving the music a beautiful swing atmosphere. The overlaying voices at the beginning and end of the track were another noteworthy feature, as they helped to tie the tune together and keep some of the original jazz vibes.
Another song that sparked my curiosity was “Celebrity (Bring Us the Bright).” It starts with Mark playing a call-and-response bass line with the brass, followed by the entire band joining in for some collaborative brainstorming. This song was a superb example of the A-A-B form, and it had a more classic jazz feel than his previous one.
Another song performed at the concert, “Young Stuff (groundUP),” had a strong guitar riff but a Caribbean-sounding rhythm background. This song is similar to ” Tell Your Friends” in terms of call and response with other instruments, but it has its own style with a sound comparable to an island riff which was so adorable. This is a fantastic song to listen to, and I loved watching the audience respond while Snarky Puppy performed it.
Evan Weiss is a great example of what a solo can do for a piece of music. His vast range on the trumpet creates amazing melody in “We Like It Here,” and he goes back and forth with the guitar and the whole band. His jazzy manner lends the song a retro feel, sending listeners to a jazz club in the 1930s or 1940s through their imaginations, all the audience was in a great excitement. His smooth technique is a great creation of his style, and he integrates his better skills with the rest of the band perfectly.
This program was a lot of fun to listen to! It was a terrific opportunity to get a taste of a jazz style that blended classic jazz with a modern edge. Each song has its own sound, yet the concert as a whole creates an album of music unlike any other. As the audience became more engaged, I enjoyed watching them react and dance to the tunes with was so enjoyable to see, and it was fascinating to hear the band members’ interactions. There were many composing and making the music and music genres to look for, and every song had its rehearsal that bandleader and bassist Michael League talked about in front of the audience before the performance and also after the performance. I wish this concert I could have seen in person, more so it was very enjoyed watching it online.
Webster, Emma, and George McKay. “The impact of (Jazz) festivals: An arts and humanities research council-funded research report.” Jazz Research Journal 9.2 (2015): 169-193.