The litter, minus one: most of the line-up of Snarky Puppy’s Empire Central.

Photo by Francois Bisi

This 6-string Cerberus finds it way home on Empire Central, an album honoring classic Black music and the band’s Dallas roots.

Back in the big-band-swing heyday of the 1940s, seeing up to 20 musicians onstage performing what was the era’s brand of popular music was not just common, but the norm. Today, with 19 members and a rotating crew of 25, Snarky Puppy is perhaps some new-age iteration of that once ubiquitous model—an electric jazz-rock-funk fusion orchestra version.

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