Spyro Gyra with their distinct sound celebrates the Holiday Season with a mix of classic and soon to be classic songs on A Night Before Christmas, which is destined to become a traditional spin for holidays to come.
Spyro Gyra - A Night Before Christmas
A Night Before Christmas: O Tannenbaum, It Won't Feel Like Christmas, Winter Wonderland, Christmas Time is Here, Baby It's Cold Outside, Carol Of The Bells, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, The First Noel, Silent Night, This Christmas, The Christmas Song
Personnel: Jay Beckenstein: Saxophones; Toney Schuman: Piano; Julio Fernandez: Guitar; Scott Ambush: Bass; Bonny B: Drums, Vocals on "Baby It's Cold Outside" and "The Christmas Song"; Christine Ebersole: Vocal on "It Won't Feel Like Christmas"; Janis Siegel: Vocals on "Baby It's Cold Outside"; David Samuels: Vibraphone on "Carol Of The Bells" and "Winter Wonderland"
Spyro Gyra has always produced fun, up-tempo music that is alive, so when they lent their unique blend to A Night Before Christmas, released on the Heads Up label, I knew it would liven up the Holiday Season and make the perfect Holiday gift.
What can you say about the staying power and creativity of Spyro Gyra? They have been putting out great music since the hit song Morning Dance that vaulted them to national attention back in 1979. With over four decades of diverse and progressive music their melding of jazz, Calypso, reggae, Latin, pop, and other influences continues to capture new audiences around the world.
A Night Before Christmas is not another set of classic tunes recorded by a band; it is a mix of classics, and soon to be classics, arranged with that Spyro Gyra flair. The lead track is the Holiday classic O Tannenbaum that has Beckenstein all decked out on soprano saxophone as he is accompanied by a poignant piano solo from Schuman with Bonny B tinkling the hi-hat and exceptional guitar work from Fernandez. Typically an instrumental band, on It Won't Feel Like Christmas (a future classic), written by Jay Beckenstein, they open the vocals to Tony Award Winner Christine Ebersole who renders a beautiful song reminding us of how special it is when we can be together for the Holidays, and how hard it is on those who are apart.
Winter Wonderland is the perfect song to bring all the Spyro Gyra magic to the forefront as they dance their way through a creative and lively arrangement, and they bring back former band member Dave Samuels on vibraphone. Baby It's Cold Outside is a feisty rendition that features Janis Siegel, founding member of The Manhattan Transfer, in a vocal duet with Bonny B. Dave Samuels brings back the vibraphone sound to a traditional arrangement of Carol Of the Bells with accompaniment by Ambush on bass and a playful guitar solo by Fernandez.
Other songs include a blues arrangement of the classics Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, The First Noel, and Silent Night. The band slows it down on Christmas Time Is Here featuring the superb piano playing of Toney Schuman and Jay on saxophone. They close the release with the tracks This Christmas and Bonny B doing a scat opening on The Christmas Song. The two great closing tracks convey a feeling of what the Holiday is all about, family, friends, and being together. A Night Before Christmas is a memorable and touching Holiday release to listen to for many years to come.
Websites where you can procure Spyro Gyra - A Night Before Christmas are Spyro Gyra, Amazon, CD Universe, Tower, Muzik Reviews, and Over Stock.
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