With a fresh new sound on Spyro Gyra - Good To Go-Go, this band is never comfortable to sit on their laurels as they continue to expand their sound.
Spyro Gyra – Good To Go-Go
Good To Go-Go: Simple Pleasures, Get Busy, Jam Up, The Left Bank, Funkyard Dog, Along For The Ride, Island Time, Wassup!, Easy Street, A Winter Tale, Good to Go-GO, Newroses
Personnel: Jay Beckenstein: saxophone; Tom Schuman: keyboards; Julio Fernandez: guitar; Scott Ambush: bass; Bonny Bonaparte “Bonny B”: drums, percussion, vocals; Andy Narell: steel pans; Christian Howes: violin; Marc Quiñones: congas
Spyro Gyra – Good To Go-Go released on the Heads Up label continues 30+ years of creative music. Good To Go-Go is the band’s twenty-sixth release and they are true to their belief “that the thing we’re doing in any given moment is the best we’ve ever done.” They have been categorized as pop and contemporary jazz, but they never fell back on their laurels nor worried about a category. The band continues to drive a creative sound with each release, which draws in a new audience, as well as satisfies their staunch supporters. Spyro Gyra originates from Buffalo, New York, which is near where I grew up; so, for me in the late 70’s, Spyro Gyra was a staple on the music scene locally and nationally. Back in the early days I had the chance to catch them perform live numerous times, and I own many of their earlier releases, so when I heard about Good To Go-Go I was excited to give it a spin and hear what the band has been up to.
Good To Go-Go is 12 tracks infused with fascinating syncopation, intriguing transitions, great riff accompaniments, and some fun Caribbean-‘Spyro Gyra style Rap,’ showing that the band has progressed musically as well as personally. Adding a single ingredient can make or break a recipe; Spyro Gyra had a great recipe of musicians, but with the addition of Bonny B holding down the rhythm section with Scott Ambush, the result is a spark that carries through each track. The release opens up with Simple Pleasures, which has some of that familiar Spyro Gyra sound, but with a series of transitions, and of course Jay Beckenstein’s notable saxophone; the track sets a groove and tone for the entire release. The second track Get Busy has a mesmerizing rhythm and bass line that will have you swaying and bopping, a perfect track for cruising in the car or relaxing by the pool. Track 3 Jam Up, written by Bonny B, has the band lightening the load and swinging to a Caribbean beat with Bonny B doing an ‘Island style Rap’, a truly fun and energy filled track. Track 4, The Left Bank, is contemporary jazz fusion Spyro Gyra style that displays the individual talents of the band with terrific solos and complementary transitions between the members. Funkyard Dog brings the rhythm section front and center and lets Scott and Bonny B carry the groove. Island Time brings the energy up with a calypso beat, while Wassup! has Bonny B on vocals and Julio Fernandez lacing in some lively guitar licks. The title track Good To Go-Go pulls the release together with a tight sound carried by the percussion section and infused by the keyboards. Newroses closes out the release with a high-energy track that leaves you wanting more, so just push track 1, sit back, and enjoy, you will not get tired of Good To Go-Go.
Each of the band members contributes as a songwriter, which shows the strength and diversity of Spyro Gyra, and allows for a diverse and engaging release. With all of the music on the scene, we sometimes forget about the bands that set the table for some of the music today, but with Spyro Gyra, their sound is as fresh and new as it was with their breakout and self-titled first release in 1978.
Websites where you can procure Spyro Gyra – Good To Go-Go are Amazon, Buy.com, Silver Platters, and CD Universe.
© June 2007. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.