Concert preview: Brooklyn jazz-fusion crew Snarky Puppy specializes in music without boundaries

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From the January 16, 2014 edition

The Brooklyn-based crew has a name that could pass for a character in music writer Christopher Weingarten’s “Hipster Puppies,” a photo collection of too-cool pooches. Its music, however, is unencumbered by any such label, effortlessly floating from jazz to funk to hip-hop-flecked R&B.

No one in the band, which formed in Denton, Texas, in 2004, has an instantly recognizable name or face, but the various musicians in the collective have toured and recorded alongside a host of A-list artists, including Erykah Badu, Justin Timberlake and (of course) Snoop Dogg.

In its own music, the group refrains from falling back on easily digested, radio-friendly hooks, and songs tend to linger like those final guests at a house party. But while some tunes could undoubtedly use a bit of pruning, the crew’s willingness to stretch out and push the music in unexpected directions is a large part of its appeal. Besides, what good is it trying to rein things in when running wild can be so damned invigorating?

Photo courtesy of Snarky Puppy

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Woodlands Tavern

8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18

1200 W. Third Ave., Grandview

woodlandstavern.com