Fusion-influenced jam band Snarky Puppy make exploratory jazz, rock, and funk. Formed in Denton, Texas in 2004, Snarky Puppy feature a wide-ranging group of musicians known affectionately as "The Fam," centered around bassist and leader Michael League. They debuted with the concert album Live at Uncommon Ground in 2005. Since then, the band has built up a loyal following with a steady touring schedule and a handful of well-received albums including The Only Constant (2006), The World Is Getting Smaller (2007), Bring Us the Bright (2008), Tell Your Friends (2010), and groundUP (2012). In 2013, Snarky Puppy released the album Family Dinner, Vol. 1, which featured a cover of Brenda Russell's "Something." The song proved a hit and propelled the album up various digital download charts. In 2014, they shared a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance for the song, and recorded the live We Like It Here in Utrecht, Netherlands. The set was released on Ropeadope. Late in the year, Snarky Puppy signed to Impulse! Sylva, their debut offering for the label, was released in April of 2015.
The album was greeted enthusiastically by the international press. They followed it with two live documents. The first was World Tour, a 32-disc box featuring their 16 favorite concerts. The deluxe package was sold exclusively through their website. Early in 2016, they issued the audio/video disc set Family Dinner, Vol. 2, a documentary follow-up to the first Family Dinner, recorded the preceding year. It showcased the band during a concert (and included guests Charlie Hunter, Susana Baca, Salif Keita, and David Crosby), in interviews, and backstage sequences. In April, the group struck again with Culcha Vulcha, their first studio album in eight years. It topped jazz albums charts the week of its release. ~ Matt Collar