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Spyro Gyra – Vinyl Tap

by Debra C. Argen
Sypro Gyra - Vinyl Tap
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Contemporary Instrumental Jazz fans are in for a time travel treat from the band Spyro Gyra with their latest album, Spyro Gyra Vinyl Tap released on the Amherst Records label. Spyro Gyra, comprised of Jay Beckenstein, Tom Schuman, Julio Fernandez, Scott Ambush, and Lionel Cordew take the listener back to the 1960s and 1970s by covering some of the best songs from that period. By giving them an instrumental Jazz interpretation and arrangements, the songs feel fresh and fun. Guest musicians Gary Schreiner, Michito Sanchez and Skip Martin join the band on a stellar release from Spyro Gyra. The album hits the streets in October 2019.

Spyro Gyra Vinyl Tap

Spyro Gyra Vinyl Tap: Secret Agent Mash, Sunshine of Your Love, Can’t Find My Way Home, What a Fool Believes, The Cisco Kid, You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, Tempted, Stolen Moments,Carry On

Personnel: Jay Beckenstein: saxophones, Tom Schuman: keyboards, Julio Fernandez: guitars, Scott Ambush: bass, Lionel Cordew: drums, Guest Musicians: Gary Schreiner – chromatic and bass harmonicas (The Cisco Kid), Michito Sanchez: percussion (Sunshine of Your Love, Carry On, The Cisco Kid, What a Fool Believes), Skip Martin: trumpet (Sunshine of Your Love, Secret Agent Mash)

Spyro Gyra Vinyl Tap was produced by Spyro Gyra on the Amherst Records label.

As a longtime fan of Spyro Gyra, I am including a bit of backstory on the band for newcomers to fully appreciatethe band. Founded in Buffalo, New York in 1974 by Jay Beckenstein, Spyro Gyra has been thrilling audiences with their live performances as well as their recordings for over 40 years. With 31 albums under their belt, for their 31st album, their first album in 6 years, they decided to hit the vintage vinyl stacks and cover some of the great songs of the 1960s and 1970s on their 9-track instrumental Contemporary Jazz release.

The release opens with Secret Agent Mash, their fabulous mix of 2 songs from 1966, Secret Agent Man, written by P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri, and Alfie’s Theme by Sonny Rollins. Lionel Cordew’s pounding drum and a wailing horn sets the mood and pace for this great opening song. Skip Martin adds his trumpet to JayBeckenstein’s sax for an amazing sound.

Next up is another huge 1960s song with the hit 1967 song Sunshine of Your Love from the British Band Cream (Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton, and Ginger Baker) written by Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Peter Brown, which they gave with a funky arrangement that makes it their own. Michito Sanchez layers in percussion and Skip Martin on trumpet also contribute on this song.

The band continues with Can’t Find My Way Home written by Stevie Winwood and released by the band Blind Faith on their eponymous 1969 album. Segueing into the 1970s, the release continues with What a Fool Believes written by Kenny Loggins & Michael McDonald and recorded by The Doobie Brothers back in 1978. Spyro Gyra’s version is pure classic, pure genius, and pure gorgeous.

The Cisco Kid written in 1973 by Thomas Allen, B.B. Dickerson, Harold Brown, Leroy Jordan, Lee Oskar, Howard Scott, and Charles Miller continues the 1970s vibe. Gary Schreiner adds harmonica passages on this one. When you cover great songs from the 1960s, you must include a Beatles song, which the band does with the 1965 hit, You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Tom Schuman on keyboards and Jay Beckenstein’s sax make this song a winner.

Into the home stretch of the release, the band shifts gears into Tempted written by Chris Difford and Glen Tilbrook, followed by the 1961 Oliver Nelson Jazz standard song, Stolen Moments. The release aptly closes with the 1960s Stephen A. Stills song, Carry On, which after 40 years, the band does just that.

Until next time, keep enjoying the music!

For information on Spyro Gyra and upcoming tour in the USA and internationally, please visit the website at www.SpyroGyra.com

Website where you can procure Spyro Gyra Vinyl Tap: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and others.

Follow Spyro Gyra on Facebookat https://www.facebook.com/spyrogyragroup/

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