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Spyro Gyra - In Modern Times (2001)

Jazz | Author: SELMER | 15-07-2012, 20:33
Spyro Gyra - In Modern Times (2001)
Artist: Spyro Gyra
Title Of Album: In Modern Times
Year Of Release: 2001
Label: Heads Up
Genre: Smooth Jazz / Fusion
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Bitrate: Lossless
Total Time: 01:00:34
Total Size: 425 MB


01. After Hours [05:07]
02. Feelin' Fine [04:23]
03. Julio's Party [05:08]
04. The River Between [06:44]
05. Groovin' For Grover [05:50]
06. Open Door [04:37]
07. Florida Straits [04:18]
08. Feelin' Fine Pt.2 [04:01]
09. East River Blue [06:12]
10. Your Touch [05:10]
11. Lucky Bounce [04:18]
12. Planet J [04:42]

Spyro Gyra:

Jay Beckenstein - saxophone;
Tom Schuman - keyboards;
Julio Fernandez - guitar;
Scott Ambush - bass;
Joel Rosenblatt - drums.

Additional personnel includes:

Scott Kreitzer - tenor saxophone;
Barry Danielian - trumpet, flugelhorn;
Randy Andos, Andrew Lippman - trombone;
David Charles, Marc Quinones - percussion.

They were one of the first bands to play smooth jazz and they are among the best. Just about every track on this disc could drop right into any smooth jazz radio playlist in the country. This disc works well as foot-tapping background music, although they throw in enough musical flair to reward careful listening. With apologies to Howard Rumsey, no one makes better music for light house-keeping than Spyro Gyra!
Bandleader Jay Beckenstein usually states the melody and takes at least one solo on every tune, but Tom Schuman gets a number of solos on various keyboards, and adds tasteful fills elsewhere. Julio Fernandez gets a few chances to display some of his guitar technique, most notably his Santana-influenced solo on the Latin number. Joel Rosenblatt and Scott Ambush establish solid, danceable grooves on every upbeat track, and even play a convincing swing rhythm on the one soulful bop tune, "East River Blues".

I agree with the reviewer who felt that Beckenstein gets his best tone on alto, but the overall excellence of the ensemble and the polish of the arrangements overcome his limitations on tenor and soprano. Stanley Turrentine and Grover Washington are apparently two of Jay's idols, so he can be forgiven for reaching a bit.

There's no single melody as memorable as "Morning Dance", but this is an overall very listenable album. Although their live albums are generally their best, this is a quite enjoyable addition to their impressive catalog. I haven't yet checked out the extra video and bios on this enhanced CD, but the music alone makes this a good value, whether or not you're a serious fan. -- J. Levinson ~ Amazon.com

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