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Preview of Snarky Puppy’s “Empire Central” featured on WBGO’s New Day, New Play Oct. 31 – Nov. 6

Snarky Puppy
c/o the artist
Snarky Puppy

"Snarky Puppy has always been a band that prioritizes the sound of the music," says bassist and founder Michael League. Empire Central, the band's new release was recorded live in Dallas, not far from where the band was conceived at North Texas State University in Denton back in 2004, pushing the envelope on the Jazz Studies program. The result: multiple Grammy Awards for their efforts that combine jazz, fusion, funk, blues, modern gospel and new tech. Highlights include a tribute to trumpeters Clifford Brown and Roy Hargrove (a Dallas native), and the last recorded performance of ‘80s funk pioneer Bernard Wright, who passed shortly after this recording.

Coming from a collective of 19 musicians, a bit funkier and heavier than previous outings, Empire Central might raise the eyebrows of a jazz purist or two, but I bet they don't turn the sound down. The Puppy shows no signs of becoming the Old Dog.

Listen to “Pineapple” from Empire Central, above.

Watch this trailer for the album here:

Snarky Puppy - Empire Central (Trailer)

In jazz radio, great announcers are distinguished by their ability to convey the spontaneity and passion of the music. Gary Walker is such an announcer, and his enthusiasm for this music greets WBGO listeners every morning. This winner of the 1996 Gavin Magazine Jazz Radio Personality of the Year award has hosts the morning show each weekday from 6:00am -12:00pm. And, by his own admission, he's truly having a great time.